When it comes to choosing a UAV propeller, many different factors come into play. From the materials, to the manufacturer, to the length and pitch, choosing a UAV propeller can be both a scientific and mathematical process. Depending on your choice, this could mean great efficiency and battery life with a well balanced UAV propeller and brushless motor combination.
Choosing a UAV Propeller
Consider these factors when choosing a UAV propeller blade:
Whether racing your UAV, using for search and rescue efforts, or outfitting it for aerial cinematography, speed matters. Smaller UAV propellers are easier to speed up and slow down compared to a larger sizes. Hexacopters and octocopters generally use more, smaller propellers in order to achieve desired speed.
Pitch is also related to speed when it comes to a UAV propeller. The faster you want to go, the more aggressive pitch you want. Pitch is the traveling distance per a single revolution of the propeller. If you want to be able to travel at faster speeds, a higher pitch may be better as opposed to UAVs used to hover, which need a lower pitch.
UAV propeller efficiency is related to the length and the contact area with air. Increasing the length of your UAV propeller can also lead to better efficiency, but may take longer to change speeds due to the inertia of movement. Smaller propellers draw less current, which is a determining factor when choosing propeller blades.
UAV propeller blades are made from a variety of different materials including carbon fiber, wood and plastic. Carbon fiber blades have many advantages, including less vibration due to their stiffness, they are lighter and stronger than plastic, which also means less inertia, thus faster speed change. Wooden blades are heavier and less responsive to speed changes.
Depending on your UAV and its intended application, there are many factors to consider when choosing propeller blades. Keep in mind that blades of the same size and pitch can differ based on the material, so performance may vary. It’s also important to consider your motors when choosing a UAV propeller, as the two components work hand-in-hand for efficiency and performance.