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International Journal of Aerospace Engineering
Volume 2018, Article ID 9632942, 10 pages
Research Article

Propeller Force-Constant Modeling for Multirotor UAVs from Experimental Estimation of Inflow Velocity

Department of Aerospace and Engineering Mechanics, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Gaurang Gupta;

Received 11 July 2017; Revised 6 November 2017; Accepted 6 December 2017; Published 10 April 2018

Academic Editor: Angel Velazquez

Copyright © 2018 Gaurang Gupta and Shaaban Abdallah. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Design and simulation of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) highly depends on the thrust produced by a motor-propeller combination. The aim of this paper is to model a generalized mathematical relationship between the motor RPM and the corresponding thrust generated for the preliminary design process of low Reynold’s number applications. A method is developed to determine a generalized mathematical model which relates inflow velocity to coefficient of thrust using experimental data from 291 motor-propeller data points, comprising of input RPM and corresponding output thrust. Using this relationship, the Force Constant is calculated, which defines each Thrust-RPM mathematical model. In the first part, expression of the inflow ratio obtained from Blade Element and Momentum Theory (BEMT) is approximated to a simplified form. In the later part, the proposed mathematical model is validated against two new sets of pairs of motor-propeller combinations. A special note in the Appendix talks about the application of this mathematical model. The computed results are found to be in good agreement with the experimental data.