Summary: FPV racing multirotors with side force generators (SFGs), will drift less during turns, making them potentially faster on race tracks (watch the video comparison here). But the SFGs need the be carefully placed and dimensioned, so that aerodynamic centre and centre of mass are at the same position. Otherwise it will not work.
Recently, I was thinking about how to improve the handling of racing copters. I noticed since quite a long time, that different copters behave quite differently in fast turns: Some drift quite a lot (especially when they carry a larger battery or an action cam), others drift less. I was always preferring copters that drift as little as possible. That is also why I am trying to reduce the weight of my copters as much as feasible.
The amount of drift depends on the weight of the copter and the lift and drag of the fuselage for sideways air streams (side-slip). The larger the lift and drag, the more side force the fuselage produces at a given…
About a month ago, I was presenting an idea to make drones faster on race tracks: The so called ‘side force generators’ (SFGs) enable racing drones to drift less during turns, making them potentially faster. The placement of the ‘wings’ is very critical and mentioned in more detail in my earlier post on SFGs. Some people tested the SFGs and confirmed the enhanced flight characteristics. Other people didn’t try and didn’t believe that SFGs could help. I must agree that the concept of the SFGs is not so easy to understand. That is why I will explain it in more detail here.
Let’s start with something that everyone knows (figure 1). When you are going through a fast turn with your car, then your car needs to provide two forces to stay on the track (grey line): The ‘thrust’ (green) of your car needs to equal its aerodynamic and friction drag (yellow). When the car turns, then there needs to be a constant force towards the centre of the turn, called ‘centripetal force’ (red). This force is …
Ever wondered what propeller or what motor performs best for your needs? Here is a simple way to determine the performance of different propellers (or motors) directly in flight, using your multirotor, the blackbox and some math. In the past, a lot of static thrust tests have been done to determine the current, thrust and efficiency of multirotor propulsion systems. However, they don't tell you anything about the propeller or motor performance in fast forward flight. Aerodynamics in forward flight and with a non-uniform inflow of the air are very different from static measurements.
My questions were: What propeller has the better acceleration?(acceleration performance of propellers is theoretically closely linked to the 'grip' during turns. Because turning is also just an acceleration, see this post)What propeller will reach the higher top speed? And which one decelerates better when throttle is cut?
My idea was to mount one kind of propellers on the left side…
Why future racing copters really should look different.
by Dr. William Thielicke aka Willa aka Shrediquette
In this article I try to demonstrate why FPV racing multirotors need to look different. Some small modifications to the frame would (in theory…!) result in 70 % higher top speed! All that needs to be done is to align the arms parallel to the propeller flow, and to tilt the main body of the copter by about 40 degrees. I am presenting a very simple and robust racing copter design that incorporates these ideas. Furthermore, I am calculating the aerodynamic drag of different copter concepts using basic equations. The aim of this article is to make you realize the importance of aerodynamics and to stimulate people to design more innovative racing frames.
Until recently, multirotors were mainly used as a “hovering device” and the top speed of these copters did hardly matter. Now, multirotor racing has become popular and all competitors are seeking for very fast…
How fast can your multirotor fly? The simplest solution for this question would probably be to attach a GPS device (tracker / OSD) to your multirotor and to read out the maximum speed.
But hey, this is pretty imprecise...!
GPS devices suffer from measurement noise (e.g. through signal degradation), which becomes problematic on rapidly accelerating objects like our multirotors. More advanced GPS chipsets (e.g. u-blox LEAx) have the option to choose between different filtering modes (e.g. pedestrian, car, airborne), that make some assumptions on the maximum accelerations and movements of the sensor and filter the results accordingly. That will most likely improve the accuracy of the measurements, but still noise might remain. Here is an interesting article on GPS speed measurements, which states that the classical methods to calculate velocities in GPS receivers have an accuracy in the order of a few meters per second, due to significant noise.