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Aerodynamic Performance of Quadrotor UAV with Non-Planar Rotors

1,2,* and 1
School of Mechanical Engineering and Automation, Fuzhou University, Fuzhou 350116, China
Key Laboratory of Fluid Power and Intelligent Electro-Hydraulic Control (Fuzhou University), Fujian Province University, Fuzhou 350116, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(14), 2779;
Received: 4 June 2019 / Revised: 6 July 2019 / Accepted: 8 July 2019 / Published: 10 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Autonomous Micro Aerial Vehicles: Methods and Applications)
PDF [13516 KB, uploaded 10 July 2019]


The mobility of a quadrotor UAV is significantly affected by its aerodynamics, especially when the closely spaced rotors are applied in the multi-rotor system. This paper addresses the aerodynamic modeling of non-planar quadrotor UAV with various rotor spacing (1 d–2 d) and disk plane angle (0–50 deg). The inter-rotor interference and the power models are also proposed in this paper. In order to validate the non-planar model, a series of CFD analyses and experiments were conducted. The obtained results demonstrate that the flow field of the non-planar quadrotor is extremely complicated when the unsteady flow is involved. The pulsation of partial angle of attack and pressure distribution is formed when the blade passes through the vortex. The thrust is increasing significantly along with the tilt angle, resulting from the stronger outflow of the non-planar rotors, which is also leading the power increment. However, the thrust increment is not that obvious when the spacing is larger than 1.4 d. The experiments and the numerical simulation results provide consistent trends and demonstrate the effectiveness of the aerodynamic model of the non-planar quadrotor. The comparison with the traditional planar quadrotor validates that the proposed non-planar quadrotor has better aerodynamic and control performances with a larger power loading. View Full-Text
Keywords: quadrotors; aerodynamic configuration; numerical simulation; hover; aerodynamic interference; non-planar model quadrotors; aerodynamic configuration; numerical simulation; hover; aerodynamic interference; non-planar model

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Lei, Y.; Wang, J. Aerodynamic Performance of Quadrotor UAV with Non-Planar Rotors. Appl. Sci. 2019, 9, 2779.

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