Aerodynamic Design of a Micro Air Vehicle: Study of Propeller-Engine Performance 2011-01-2626
The present research is due to study the performance of engine-propeller cells to be used in the design of a Micro Air Vehicle (MAV), since technical information regarding small propellers and engines used for MAVs is not well documented in the literature. Design conditions of the MAV are presented: weigh less than 200 gr, maximum measurement of 30 cm, to fly a distance of 200 m, and to be able to carry a camera and chemical sensors for contaminants agents' detection. One of the goals of the study is to use commercial parts like engines and propellers in order to reduce manufacturing cost. An experimental methodology was used to measure the followings variables for the engine-propeller cell: Thrust (T), velocity (RPM), cylinder head temperature (CHT), wind incident velocity (V✓), aerodynamic drag (D) and torque (Q). A subsonic wind tunnel was use to study: the engine-propeller thrust, the aerodynamic drag and the velocity profiles of each propeller. In order to know the adequate flight velocity for the MAV, the relation thrust-to-drag (T/D) was studied. The engine-propeller selection was made in function of thrust-to-weight ratio and efficiency. A study of propeller slipstream was made to estimate the airplane lift variation caused by the downstream zone of the propeller.