This paper presents preliminary results of research being conducted at MIT on the dynamics of an azimuthing podded propulsor, with emphasis on the application to nonlinear vehicle maneuvering
dynamics. The paper focuses on the experimental investigation of propulsor-induced maneuvering forces and moments, as well as characterization and documentation of the vortex wake. A test
program of quasi-steady and unsteady/dynamic tests on an azimuthing podded propulsor unit has been carried out in the MIT ship model towing tank. Forces and motor current were measured for subsequent implementation of a multi-parameter dynamic model of an azimuthing propulsor within nonlinear vehicle maneuvering simulations. Additional testing was conducted with the azimuthing propulsor installed in a surface vehicle attached to a Planar Motion Mechanism (PMM), where quasi-steady forces and moments were measured. Parameterized results, as well as notable maneuvering force effects and visualizations of the wake are presented. Parametric results clearly illustrate unique characteristics of vectored-propulsion, including significant increase in vectored thrust and strong “destabilizing” thrust and normal force with propulsor azimuth, plus other important related effects. Limited results of wake flow visualization, using Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV), are also presented.