Flight testing methods are developed to find the drag polar for small UAVs powered by electric motors with fixed-pitch propellers. Wind tunnel testing was used to characterize the propeller-motor efficiency. The drag polar was constructed using data from flight tests. The proposed methods were implemented for a small UAV. A drag polar was found for this aircraft with CDo equal to 0.021, K1 equal to 0.229, and K2 equal to -0.056. This drag polar was then used to find the following performance parameters; maximum velocity, minimum velocity, velocity for maximum range, velocity for maximum endurance, maximum rate of climb, maximum climb angle, minimum turn radius, maximum turn rate, and maximum bank angle. Applications in UAV control and mission planning are also proposed.
College and Department
Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Mechanical Engineering
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Ostler, Jon N., "Flight Testing Small, Electric Powered Unmanned Aerial Vehicles" (2006). All Theses and Dissertations. 387.
performance, flight test, flight testing, drag polar, UAV, small, electric powered, electric, unmanned, uninhabited