One of the most important parts of your drone is the propellers. These spinning blades are the wings to your craft, the very part that creates the airflow that lifts your machine into the air. Drone propellers come in many different shapes and sizes – they all serve the same overall purpose, but the flight characteristics of each can be dramatically different.
Are you vaguely familiar with how an aeroplane wing works? Airflow across the wing creates areas of high and low pressure, resulting in lift. Look up Bernoulli’s Principle if you’d like to know more on that specifically. Simply put, higher speed air travels over the top of the wing, creating low air pressure, the opposite happens underneath the wing, effectively pushing things upward.
The propeller on your drone is a wing, actually, in the physics sense of things, it is multiple wings attached together. Spinning the little wings around in a circle creates the same air pressures, thus causing lift.
If you don’t want to follow along with the ‘air pressure and lift’ approach to this all, know that the angle of the propellers drives air downward. There is enough resistance in normal air that this drives the propeller upward.
The basic concept of a fixed blade propeller is that the faster the motor runs, the faster your propeller spins and more lift is created. Basically, more power = more speed. There will be a theoretical maximum to this, eventually, a propeller will spin faster than it can efficiently move air, but for the most part, we won’t hit that with our consumer drones. Altitude plays a part in this as well, we, therefore, start this lesson with the atmosphere.