What Are Your Thoughts on Folding Props?

Folding props are the norm for RC sailplanes and cinema drones alike, but you don't see them much on high speed racing or freestyle drones, until recently. There are some props under development specifically designed to handle the stresses and loads these quads can dish out so I wanted to see what you guys think.

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Folding Props on Freestyle Drones?

Folding props are the norm for RC sailplanes and cinema drones alike, but you don't see them much on high speed racing or freestyle drones, until recently. There are some props under development specifically designed to handle the stresses and loads these quads can dish out so I wanted to see what you guys think.

There are some obvious advantages to folding props like packing up smaller, replacing just a single blade if needed, etc, but there are some disadvantages as well that need to be addressed by the manufacturers like durability and higher cost due to the extra complexity and tooling required to make them. Bob has a great video on his KababFPV channel that addresses folding props and he has some test footage which is worth watching. Go ahead and take a look, then come back and reply with your thoughts on folding props. Is it the "next thing" or just another fad?

DAL Folding 5" prop (15 min 47 sec)

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May 12, 2020, 02:20 PM
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whatwillaguydo's Avatar
I never really understood folding props on drones. It makes sense for gliders where they fold back to give less drag. But the side folding props always seemed pointless to me. Then again I don't fly cinematic drones so I might just not be in the know.
May 12, 2020, 02:44 PM
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Lead lag


With single rotor helis, it's vital to have a pivoting blade. When you analyse forward flight, there's all sorts of things going on. The advancing blade flaps upwards, reducing the effective angle of attack, whilst the retreating blade does the opposite.

I wonder if folding blades on a quad lead to lower vibration in fast forward flight? If there was a measurable reduction in vibration, that could make them more than just a fad.
May 12, 2020, 07:46 PM
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If you have massive props on your drone you need have folding props other wise you cant take anywhere unless you have a semi truck lol
May 13, 2020, 01:17 AM
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Sounds & [email protected]@Ks [email protected]@L! Butt We Will Need More Different Sizes Though, Like 3" & 4"??? Thanks
May 13, 2020, 03:56 AM
Registered User
Well it's great for transport at least.

Another video:

Foldable 5" props - Dalprop FOLD F5 - 1st impressions (17 min 8 sec)
May 13, 2020, 09:29 AM
Are we not men? We are DEVO!
xanuser's Avatar
wonder if it might smooth things out? like a cushy Cadillac vs a porche.

3D Printed Folding Prop Hub for Reusing Broken Propellers - Freestyle FPV TriBlade V1.0 (29 min 32 sec)
May 13, 2020, 08:00 PM
Registered User
One thing I like about folding props, that people don't often mention, is that they cancel out any gyroscopic precession. Think of how an autogyro is free from the conventional usage of this precession that it's big brother uses to move around - FLAPPING HINGED BLADES!
May 13, 2020, 08:07 PM
Are we not men? We are DEVO!
xanuser's Avatar
yep andy, that exactly what i was trying to say.
it wont win you races or do the sharpest freestyle, but it might make up for some minor pilot and tune shortcomings and save a few buck too. also a great way to use recycle old props on your filming or loaner drones.
May 14, 2020, 12:21 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Doggs
With single rotor helis, it's vital to have a pivoting blade. When you analyse forward flight, there's all sorts of things going on. The advancing blade flaps upwards, reducing the effective angle of attack, whilst the retreating blade does the opposite.

I wonder if folding blades on a quad lead to lower vibration in fast forward flight? If there was a measurable reduction in vibration, that could make them more than just a fad.
This is exactly the issue. Lead/lagging blades were instrumental to the development of the heli, don't see why it shouldn't be used here.
May 14, 2020, 01:55 PM
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It might be that there is more of an effect on larger diameter props. Folding props are virtually universal on camera quads now, but of course that also helps with portability on a quad with folding arms.
May 14, 2020, 01:58 PM
Are we not men? We are DEVO!
xanuser's Avatar
folding props also make a drone seem more friendly to outsiders. ive heard more that a few people comment on how DJI are safer than racers cause of the have folding props. ha ha!
May 14, 2020, 02:03 PM
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Yes, I suppose a cut from a folding prop is never as bad as one from a regular prop....
May 18, 2020, 01:15 AM
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brewski850's Avatar
I've folding props on my SG906 quad. Probably the main reason they were used, is because the brushless motor arms (that incorporate ESCs as well as LEDS) fold into side of body for easy transport, the same as Spark & Mini.
I've also noticed that they are stamped , not only with direction but a number. By ensuring all blades on the same motor are the same number, then vibration is undetectable. Even with a mix of numbered blades the vibration is way less than any fixed blade I have used on previous quads, even with meticulous balancing.
The blade assemblies are very light, I suspect carbon fiber or some exotic polymer, with fine leading edges. The thin light blades make little noise & can barely be heard from 5m away when hovering.
The negative is that with the fine leading edge, any contact with anything harder than leaves will leave nicks in the blades. If small enough I just remove same amount from the other blade. Mind you @ $6 per set its hardly worth doing.


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