Engineers showed how to make quadcopters faster and more economical – add tilt propellers

Engineers showed how to make quadcopters faster and more economical – add tilt propellers
Engineers showed how to make quadcopters faster and more economical – add tilt propellers

Traditional horizontally moving drones tilt slightly forward, but this increases their frontal projection area, and with it, drag. UC Berkeley engineers have proposed (PDF) a simple but effective replacement for this mechanism that does not require additional energy costs.

Image source: youtube.com

The new drone design developed in California was called QUaRTM (QUadcopter with an unactuated Rotor Tilting Mechanism). The design includes a rectangular body with four arrows, at the end of each of which there is a rotor. Arrows are not fixed on the body motionlessly, but are connected to it by hinges and springs.

If the thrust from the rotors is low, the springs keep them in line with the hull. When the thrust reaches a certain value, the propeller blades overcome the force exerted by the springs, and the arrows tilt up to 20 °. As a result, the drone moves forward while maintaining a horizontal position of the body, in which aerodynamic drag is minimal. More importantly, the spring design does not require the installation of additional drives – all the work is done by the thrust that is created by the rotors.

During test flights, QUaRTM took to the air with the tilt mechanism locked and unlocked. The authors of the project found that with the mechanism unlocked, the maximum speed of the drone is 12.5% ​​higher, maneuverability is increased – the maximum “fail-safe cruising speed” is increased by 7.5% – and power consumption at a speed range of 15 to 20 m / s is reduced by more than 20%.

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The article is in Russian

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