The effect of an upstream hull on a propeller in reverse rotation

A. Verma, H. Jang, K. Mahesh

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37 Scopus citations


Propeller crashback is an off-design operating condition where a propeller rotates in the reverse direction. Experiments (Bridges 2004, Tech Rep. MSSU-ASE-04-1, Department of Aerospace Engineering, Mississippi State University) have shown that the presence of an upstream hull significantly increases the side force on a propeller in crashback below an advance ratio of J= \ensuremath-0. 7. Large-eddy simulation (LES) is performed for a propeller with and without a hull at two advance ratios, J= \ensuremath-1. 0 and J= \ensuremath-0. 5. LES reproduces the experimentally observed behaviour and shows good quantitative agreement. Time-averaged flow fields are investigated for a qualitative understanding of the complex flow resulting from the interaction of the upstream hull with the propeller blades. At J= \ensuremath-1. 0, two noticeable flow features are found for the case with the hull a recirculation zone upstream in the vicinity of the propeller and a vortex ring much closer to the propeller. In contrast, at J= \ensuremath-0. 5, there is a much smaller recirculation zone which is further upstream due to the increased reverse flow. As a result, the hull does not make much difference in the immediate vicinity of the propeller at J= \ensuremath-0. 5. For both advance ratios, side force is mainly generated from the leading-edge separation on the suction side. However, high levels of side force are also generated from trailing-edge separation on the suction side at J= \ensuremath-1. 0.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-88
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - Aug 10 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the United States Office of Naval Research under ONR Grant N00014-05-1-0003 with Dr K.-H. Kim as technical monitor. Computing resources were provided by the Arctic Region Supercomputing Center of HPCMP and the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute. We are grateful to Dr M. Donnelly, Dr S. Jessup and their colleagues at NSWCCD for providing us with experimental data.


  • computational methods
  • flow structure interactions
  • turbulence simulation
  • vortex interactions


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