Factors to Consider When Selecting Drone Propeller Blades

Published: 12 Dec 2017 | Author: Mike Rees

In this article, KDE Direct explores the factors that should be considered when selecting VTOL/multirotor UAV propeller blades.

Drone Propeller BladesThere are a number of factors that should be taken into consideration when choosing the right drone propeller blades. Drone propeller blades have a significant influence on power and can affect how smoothly a drone flies. Therefore, one of the most important considerations is flight efficiency – how will new drone propeller blades improve the flight efficiency of your multirotor UAV?

When selecting new drone propeller blades, the following factors are important:

Number & Size of Blades

The number of blades required per propeller will vary depending on the platform, usage and payload requirements. Smaller blades, under eight inches, are most frequently used for racing drones and those used for acrobatics. Smaller blades are generally paired with smaller motors with high kV ratings.

Larger blades, over eight inches, are paired with motors that have low kV ratings and can be used to carry heavier payloads, such as video equipment or spraying containers for agriculture.

Pitch

Pitch is defined as the traveling distance per a single revolution of the propeller. The correct pitch will often depend on the specific application for a UAV platform. Lower pitch often results in more torque and less turbulence for lifting, and as a result the motors do not have to work as hard to carry heavy payloads which can result in increased flight time (as the motors will draw less current from the battery).

Propellers with higher pitches move more air, but generally create more turbulence and less torque.

Diameter

Typically, a larger diameter propeller blade allows greater contact with the air. This relates directly to flight efficiency, as a small increase or decrease in diameter can change how efficiently a drone performs. Larger propellers tend to be more stable when hovering than smaller propellers.

However, smaller propeller blades require less effort to speed up or slow down than larger ones, making them more responsive than larger propellers.

Smaller propellers with a high pitch are better suited for fast and quick maneuvers, while larger propellers with low pitches are more appropriate for carrying heavier payloads and aerial video cameras.

Other factors to be considered include:

  • Blade material
  • Power
  • RPM
  • Air density
  • Maximum noise

In summary, selecting the most appropriate propeller blades for a VTOL UAV will vary depending on the planned usage and there are a number of factors that need to be taken into consideration. For example, in heavy lift applications larger blades with low pitches will be more suitable.

KDE Direct offers drone propeller blades in a variety of sizes, pitches and diameters. Find the ideal drone propeller blades for your specific needs.

 

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