Composite Rotor Development

Our team has worked on several unmanned rotor-craft projects over the last 20 years.  Our capabilities cover the complete design spectrum from initiation through operation:

  • Aerodynamic Modeling and Airfoil Selection

XFOIL Airfoil Design

2D airfoil codes are used to tailor rotor performance along the span of the blade.  Airfoil properties and angle of attack are varied down the length of the blade.

  • Rotor performance Analysis

Rotor Map

Rotor performance codes from XRotor to CAMRAD are used to determine Figure of Merit, and performance curves through various operating regimes.

  • Dynamic and Vibration Analysis


We use structural models of laminated blade sections to determine blade cross section properties.  That data along with relevant rotor geometry and flight conditions are input into CAMRAD II and result in a variety of loads and vibration information to help optimize the rotor aero-elastic coupling.

  • Blade Lofting and CAD development

CAD Blade Loft

Airfoil coordinates are exported from analysis codes directly into CAD software where they can be lofted together into a tailored blade surface .

  • Structural Laminate Layout

Laminate Stress Analysis

The CAD modeled surface is split into regions corresponding to tailored laminate regions defined during CAMRAD iterations.  Layered shell model Finite Element Analysis models are created to validate stresses and frequency response of the structure.  These surfaces can be exported to a ply cutting machine to custom cut each ply for composite laminate manufacturing.

  • Tool Design and Development

CNC Machined Tool

The lofted CAD airfoil surface is used to develop the model for the tool which will form that shape.

  • Composite Blade Manufacturing

Pressure Cured Carbon Blade

Tools can be made from a variety of materials and processes depending on the desired manufacturing rate and precision required.  Kinetic Analytics specializes in heated press tools providing autoclave quality laminates at lower cost and higher throughput.

  • Blade Testing and Validation

We maintain fixtures to test blades to failure and validate rotor performance.

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