Static Testing of Propulsion Elements for Small Multirotor Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Robert Deters, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Stefan Kleinke, WW/Undergraduate Studies
Michael S. Selig, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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The growing use of small multirotor aircraft has increased the interest in having better performance results especially with the propulsion system. The size of the propellers used on these aircraft operate at low Reynolds numbers that are typically less than 200,000. Static performance testing of ten propeller pairs (tractor and pusher) were completed and is the beginning of a systematic test of propellers used on multirotor systems. The propellers chosen for this initial set of tests were selected from four popular quadrotors. Besides testing the propellers provided with the aircraft, propellers that are sold as replacements from third-party companies were also tested. Both the 3D Robotics Solo and DJI Phantom 3 had multiple propellers tested and a method to compare the resulting endurance is discussed.