Quadcopter Propellers Types Analizes
My recent attempted was to create first samples of propellers for our online FPV quadcopter simulator. To achieve it I did analyze existings quadcopter propellers types of common blades based on available online documentation. If you remember we had similar analizes for helicopter blades in OMH project to better understand of how things work and what we can take from this lesson for needs of Quadsimu.
Quadcopter propellers types are based on 5 main properties that need to be considered when designing or choosing a multirotor propellers. The are key component that keeps your multirotor in the air, and they have the most direct impact on how your machine will perform.
- Blades Configuration
- Material (Durability)
- Design (Efficiency)
A common analogy is to think of propellers on a multirotor like the wheels and gearbox in a car.GetFPV.COM
Lighter props have less moment of inertia, which means the motor needs to apply less torque to generate the same RPM. This also results in faster RPM changes which leads to better drone flight response.
The weight distribution greatly affects the amount of vibration that the propeller will generate. A perfectly balanced prop will produce less vibration, while an unbalanced prop will affect the flight performance, and will sound terrible.
Pitch – Angle of attack
Pitch is the distance travelled by drone in one single prop rotation. The higher the pitch value, the faster your plane will go but to produce the required thrust, a quadcopter propeller needs to be designed to be within a specific range of pitch angles. For example, a 4-pitch propeller would move upward 4 inches in one revolution.
Propellers are commonly described by a series of numbers relate to size, pitch, and blade configuration. There are two common formats that are used: LxPxB or LLPPxB. For instance, you may see a propeller being described as a 5×4×3, the first number corresponds to the Size, 5 inches in this case. The second to the pitch, 4 inches in this case. And the third to the number of blades, which in this case would be a 3 bladed propeller. You may also see an R or a C after the sizing numbers. The R stands for reversed, which is the rotation direction of the propeller. An R propeller needs to be mounted on a drone motor that rotates clockwise. A propeller with a C designation is to be mounted on a motor that rotates counter-clockwise.
Size (in inches) X pitch (in inches) X number of blades
Material & Design
Usually made using polycarbonate a type of plastic that has good stiffness but will bend rather than break if it hits something hard. This means that if you crash a blade may bend but it can often be bent back into shape rather than having to replace the prop thanks to the material properties. Propeller design is based on compromise between parameters. These variables can include the number of blades needed, the size of the outer diameter, the pitch-affecting angle of attack, as well as the leading and trailing edge blade angle along with many others.
How this impacted Quadsimu?
Pre-alpha version of Quadsimu was to prove the concept of ability to use PID loop as fly controller for multirotor simulation in game engine. Now with entry to Alpha stage of development is good time to improve each part of algorithm to get closer to the goal. Goal is to simulate quadcopter behaves and help new pilots to learn how to fly, learn the concept of how multirotor work and also to help with new rules to fly safely. Also to encourage people to RC FPV hobby in general. Quadsimu – FPV quadcopter simulator with latest update introduced the new blades types. Based on above materials ( see also reference for more in depth information ) I have created 4 types of new propellers, ready to test out.
Available presets are ready to try from Garage >> Quadcopter >> Propellers:
5x4x2, 5x4x3, 5x4x4 5x4x5
The 5x4x2 is set to be a default type installed on device. Each of those new blades has different impacts on fly characteristic as well as audio experience may be differ dependent of blade type is in use. At the moment the main properties on which calculation are based is the blades number. The weights of blades need to be included and added to whole mass of drone in device settings. Are you ready for first take off?
Please notice that Quadsimu – online FPV quadcopter simulator is still in very early state and it may not work as intended. Reporting bugs will help to improve those areas for you with next releases, for this purpose please use our forum with dedicated thread. Thank you.
This is very interesting topic and we just start scratching the surface. If you would like to get more information about quadcopter propellers types, please check also the reference materials.
- All about Multirotor Drone FPV Propellers – https://www.getfpv.com/learn/new-to-fpv/all-about-multirotor-fpv-drone-propellers/
- Quadcopter Propeller Basics for Drone Pilots – https://www.droneomega.com/quadcopter-propeller/
- How to Optimize a Propeller Design – https://www.simscale.com/blog/2019/06/how-to-optimize-propeller-design/