vortex particle method, VPM, eVTOL, electric aircraft, rotor-wing interaction, LES, large-eddy simulation, rotors, actuator surface, blown wing, aircraft, aerodynamics


The vortex particle method (VPM) has gained popularity in recent years due to a growing need to predict complex aerodynamic interactions during preliminary design of electric multirotor aircraft. However, VPM is known to be numerically unstable when vortical structures break down close to the turbulent regime. In recent work, the VPM has been reformulated as a large eddy simulation (LES) in a scheme that is both meshless and numerically stable, without increasing its computational cost. In this study, we build upon this meshless LES scheme to create a solver for interactional aerodynamics. Rotor blades are introduced through an actuator line model following well-established practices for LES. A novel, vorticity-based, actuator surface model (ASM) is developed for wings, which is suitable for rotor-wing interactions when a wake impinges on the surface of a wing. This ASM imposes the no-flow-through condition at the airfoil centerline by calculating the circulation that meets this condition and by immersing the associated vorticity in the LES following a pressure-like distribution. Extensive validation of rotor-wing interactions is presented simulating a tailplane with tip-mounted propellers and a blown wing with propellers mounted mid-span.

Original Publication Citation

Alvarez, E. J., and Ning, A., “Meshless Large Eddy Simulation of Rotor-Wing Interactions with Reformulated Vortex Particle Method,” Nov. 2022, (preprint).

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date





Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering


Mechanical Engineering

University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor