The drone technology has been embraced by the world in a number of ways. The world has succumbed to its usage in personal, commercial and military arenas. Every YouTuber is seen handling a drone for their next video or vlog. However, did you know how a drone actually flies? If you are the observant type, you must have tried reading up about the gadget to understand how it operates. But if you haven’t, let’s explore the science behind drones, propellers, and drones without propellers!
How Does a Drone Fly?
A drone is basically an unmanned aircraft that is lightweight and moves at high altitudes. Drones are usually equipped with different types of technology. For instance, some drones are equipped with infrared cameras, while others have GPS or laser technology and are referred to as military UAV.
These lightweight aircraft are handled with the help of a remote control, similar to how those remote-controlled vehicles work. Thus, when you buy yourself a drone, you’ll be provided with an aerial vehicle system that comes in two parts, the drone and its remote-control system.
The motors and propellers are responsible for getting the drone high up into the air. A quadcopter uses motors and propellers in pairs of two. A few other types of drones operate on 3 or fewer propellers and motors.
Why Does It Need Propellers?
Helicopters fly with the aid of 2 propellers, which have been mounted to prevent a crash. Likewise, a drone operates on a minimum of 2 propellers. Otherwise, a tail prop has to be in place. Each propeller spins in the opposite direction to the other one to keep the drone speed manageable and to keep the drone stable up in the air. Thus, you can expect one propeller to spin in a clockwise direction, while the other spins in the anti-clockwise direction.
The propeller spins when the motor attached to it spins, causing the wind to blow in a downward direction. Due to the force from the wind, the aircraft begins to ascend into the air, higher and higher, just where you want it. The propellers also make sure you can control exactly where you want the drone to be.
If you want to descend your drone, you must make sure the motor slows down and so do the propellers. As a result, the wind will escape upward and the aircraft will start descending to touch the ground.
Hence, a drone would require motor and propellers for its flight to be smooth sailing.
Material & Design
The length, design, and material of the propeller will impact drone flight as well. You’ll come across propellers that are made from fiberglass such as those found on the Phantom 4. Then, there are propellers such as those on the Matrice 600 that have been made using carbon fiber and some high-performance base material.
The design may also vary depending on mathematical simulations and modeling techniques in an attempt to achieve aerodynamic efficiency and thrust.
The manufacturing process is intricately designed to ensure superior quality propellers for enhanced performance of the drone. Injection molds are used to ensure uniformity and quality control. Each propeller must be designed to achieve a dynamic balance.
Moreover, the vibration control has to be done accurately so as to ensure minimum vibration or else it would ruin the video and image quality when it’s hovering. This is especially critical for use during harsh weather conditions and for drones that are designed to chase tornadoes and other natural weather conditions, providing live coverage.
Drones Without Propellers
Now that you have seen just how important motors and propellers are for drone flight, what is the idea behind a drone without the much-needed propeller? Marcus King, a Royal College of Art graduate, has come up with a unique design for a drone that can fly without propellers to support its ascend and descend mechanisms.
The drone technology that Marcus has designed uses impellers to produce thrust that would otherwise be created by propeller blades. The idea behind the creation of such a technology has been safety.
Another design that has come in the market for drones is known as the ‘bladeless drone.’
What Is a Bladeless Drone?
The bladeless drone is designed by a man named Edgar Herrera, whose drone design has been featured in Yanko Design. He has created a technology that uses propellers but without the much-needed blades for drone flight. This aerodynamic design is similar to modern airplanes but features a somewhat different body.
The main body has a large air duct that helps with ascending and descending. The air utilization happens through the internal ducts. The smaller propellers on each side suck air through the four intake valves, which is then channeled to help the drone ascend. When the drone is in the air, the three smaller propellers are used to generate a downward flow.
With no blades, the noise generated by the drone is mitigated. This helps keep noise pollution low in residential areas where you wish to fly your drone for personal or commercial uses.
Moreover, the buzzing noise from drones that are used for military purposes can be risky over national borders. Hence, this quiet drone technology can be incredibly beneficial.
His UAV drone technology has managed to earn him an international award for concept design, the Red Dot Award. The technology has surfaced, but it has yet to be incorporated in drones being used today.
Once the design phase is completed, these new drone technologies will definitely be a huge success. The weight of the gadget is likely to go down since there are no blades attached. Plus, it will be less noisy and secure for the people around your drone, especially within parks where you’ll find young kids who might chase around a drone if they hear it.