Growing up in Munich, Germany, Roland Feil was fascinated by flight at a young age and enjoyed sketching and building model airplanes and rotorcraft. The models he built grew more advanced as he improved on their function, such as increasing speed, reducing friction, or enhancing their vertical take-off and landing capabilities. During high school, Roland received excellent grades, especially in the physical sciences. He went on to pursue a five-year M.S. program in aeronautics and aerospace engineering, specializing in astronautics, flow and flight physics. After receiving his masters’ degree from the Technical University of Munich (TUM), he briefly worked at German conglomerate IABG before returning to TUM’s Institute of Helicopter Technology for his doctorate degree.
Roland is currently analyzing the aeromechanics of counter-rotating coaxial rotor systems, including performance and load predictions, blade aerodynamics, blade structural dynamics, and rotorcraft design and development. He has been researching on two different rotor systems: a model-scale high-advance-ratio coaxial rotor system with lift-offset tested in both hover mode and wind tunnel operations, and a full-scale ultra-light coaxial helicopter during free flight. During this project, Roland helped with the instrumentation of the test demonstrator and with the flight testing of the full-scale aircraft. He was challenged to develop new solutions to acquire highly resolved test data from the upper and lower rotors synchronized with the non-rotating instrumentation.
Roland’s work is done in collaboration with research groups at the University of Texas at Austin, and these studies support the VLRCOE at the University of Maryland. His advisor Dr. Juergen Rauleder considers Roland’s research for the past four years on high-advance-ratio rotor aeromechanics to be beyond the state of the art; these research results have been published in the Journal of Aircraft, the Journal of the AHS, and presented at multiple Vertical Flight Society’s Annual Forums.
Outside of his studies, Roland continues to mentor undergraduate and graduate students at TUM, and encourages their interest in vertical flight.
Impressed by Roland’s excellent academic performance, strong independent research capabilities, and creativity, Dr. Rauleder has “full confidence” that his student, who will be graduating soon, “will succeed in his pursuit of an international rotorcraft engineering career and impact on the rotorcraft community.”
VFF Scholar Spotlight: Vertiflite January/February 2019