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 …
In part 1 of this article on multirotor aerodynamics, some ideas on how to reduce the aerodynamic drag of racing multirotors was presented. I was also designing a tilted-body racing quadrotor called "Shrediquette DERBE". There were not yet any flow measurements of multirotors flying at high speeds. Therefore, I had to make quite a number of assumptions on the aerodynamics of a racing copter. This time, I am presenting some flow measurements, along with some potential optimizations for the next version of the "Shrediquette DERBE"
Recently, I had the opportunity to do some flow visualizations in a large wind tunnel at the Bremen university of Applied Sciences / Dept. of biomimetics (which is the place where I worked one year ago). I brought the Shrediquette DERBE and mounted it inside the wind tunnel. Prior to the measurements, I did some tests to determine a realistic flight speed and the appropriate pitch angle.
The measurements were performed…