NUMFLO, global leader in computational fluid dynamics, seducing Hollywood
NUMFLO is an engineering company active in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations and a subsidiary of NUMECA International. The company offers advanced consultancy services for fluid flow analysis, design, and optimization, as well as dedicated technological solutions for fluid/solid multiphysics and heat transfer modeling. Their activities cover a wide range of applications: aeronautics, aerospace, turbomachinery, marine, energy, aeroacoustics and environment.
For one of its most recent projects, NUMFLO has collaborated with FLYING-CAM, a Belgian company based in Liège, leader in designing and manufacturing unmanned airborne solutions. Since 30 years, Flying-Cam has become a well-recognized provider of close range aerial filming services to the movie industry. They already won 2 Oscars® with their innovative technology. The Flying-Cam system has been used in Harry Potter, James Bond, Mission Impossible and Game of Thrones. Their platform called SARAH - Special Aerial Response Automatic Helicopter – is a fully automatized electric helicopter, equipped with the most sophisticated sensors.
NUMFLO contributed to the « SARAH-LE » project, in collaboration with the Walloon region and Skywin by using CFD for the optimization of the aerodynamic performances of the SARAH-LE helicopter’s rotor blades.
The team developed new software capabilities to simulate in 3D the complex air flow around the helicopter. They have realized a complete CFD simulation of the helicopter, taking into account the rotation of the main rotor blades as well as the rotation of the tail rotor blades. The oscillating motion of the main rotor blades that happens during flight was also modeled thanks to the rigid motion techniques and grid distortion.
With projects like this, the numerical simulation of an entire helicopter, NUMFLO makes the study of complex aerodynamic phenomena, like the interactions between both rotors and helicopter fuselage, more accessible. These are phenomena that are very difficult to observe and study in wind tunnels or during flight tests.