DelftaCopter Propulsion Optimization from Hover to Fast Forward Flight usingWindtunnel Measurements

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Enlarging the flight envelope of aircraft has been a goal since the beginning of aviation. But requirements to fly very fast and to hover are conflicting. During the design of the DelftaCopter, a tail-sitter hybrid UAV with a single large rotor for lift in hover and propulsion in forward flight, the design of the rotor needs to properly balance hovering requirements and fast forward flight requirements. The initial design with a one meter rotor placed too much emphasis on efficiency in hover, while most flights consist of very short periods of hover and very long phases of forward flight. Two new rotor designs and corresponding motors were tested an open jet wind tunnel. The propulsion system was tested from hover conditions to very fast forward flight in search of the most optimal operating point for each condition. The resulting system requires merely more power than the initial rotor in hover while it is capable of much faster forward speeds. The power requirements are shown to be compatible with modern power sources like Lithium-Ion batteries, which form the next step in improving the efficiency of hover-capable fast UAV.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication10th International Micro-Air Vehicles Conference
Subtitle of host publication22nd-23rd November 2018. Melbourne, Australia
EditorsAbdulghani Mohamed, Simon Watkins
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event10th International Micro-Air Vehicles Conference - Melbourn, Australia
Duration: 22 Nov 201823 Nov 2018
Conference number: 10


Conference10th International Micro-Air Vehicles Conference
Abbreviated titleIMAV 2018
Internet address


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