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Comparative Study of Two and Three Blade Mini Propellers Aerodynamic Performance

[+] Author Affiliations
Prathapanayaka Rajeevalochanam, Vinod Kumar Nanjundaiah, Santhosh Kumar Sahadevan, Narendra Sharma, Krishnamurthy Settisara Janney

CSIR - National Aerospace Laboratories, Bangalore, India

Paper No. GT2016-56174, pp. V001T01A007; 7 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2016: Turbomachinery Technical Conference and Exposition
  • Volume 1: Aircraft Engine; Fans and Blowers; Marine
  • Seoul, South Korea, June 13–17, 2016
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4968-2
  • Copyright © 2016 by ASME


Fixed wing Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs) are widely powered by miniature brushless DC motors and mini propellers. These motors have low efficiencies in the MAVs’ operating range; hence consume more power and penalizing the endurance of MAVs flight. Mini propellers also suffer with lower efficiencies due to low Reynolds number effect compared to bigger propellers. Based on the power requirement of MAV’s; generally two bladed different size propellers are used to power these MAVs. Effect of Propeller slipstream wash on the lift generating wings is significant and it is well reported for bigger propellers. The strength of slipstream wash depends on the number of blades, diameter of the propeller, rotational speed, flight speed and trajectory. The effect of slipstream wash could be lowered by increasing the number of blades and with smaller diameter propellers. CSIR-NAL has designed, developed, and fabricated, efficient, 6inch diameter, two and three blade, light-weight, mini propellers using latest state of the art technological advancements for CSIR-NAL fixed wing MAV code named as Black Kite. Apart from this, these propellers are assessed for its realistic propulsive efficiencies using CSIR-NAL configured sophisticated precision test bench manufactured and supplied by M/s MAGTROL, Switzerland. The specialty of this test bench is that it can measure thrust, propellers shaft torque, input power and rotational speeds simultaneously. In the present study CSIR-NAL developed 6 inch diameter two and three bladed propellers of identical plan form are compared for their performance. The three bladed propellers generate 30% higher thrust by marginal weight and efficiency penalty, whereas the noise levels are reduced.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME
Topics: Blades , Propellers



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