What a Propeller Guard Is, Why Drones Need It, and Even More: All of Your Absolute Questions Answered!

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Are you planning to buy a propeller guard? Is it worth it? Check out this useful post right now to know more about this safety feature and its importance!

While drones ((also referred to as UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), unmanned aircraft, flying machines, flying robots, or automation) are constructed to take up numerous tough conditions, by their nature, they are presented to the elements similarly to like hardly any other machines. 

That is when a propeller guard is designed to make a cage around the drone propellers to ensure that they are safe and sound in the event that you fly the automaton directly into a wall or a tree.

How interesting and practical they are! Let’s delve into the post right below for an in-depth understanding of this safety feature.

How do propellers work on a drone?

DJI Spark and the propeller guards.
DJI Spark and the propeller guards. Photo by Jp Valery on Unsplash

1. How they work

The physics behind the component that you can commonly find on any UAVs is straightforward. At the point when an engine turns, the propeller does also, thus making the wind blow downwards. As soon as spinning is sufficiently quick, the wind is adequate for the drone to ascend. By contrast, when the engines slow down, the device will descend. 

While they are basic on paper, propellers can be made in multiple ways, for example, airfoil shape. That thing and more influence the way that a UAV flies. 

In case you do not know, there are a multitude of various propellers on the planet – every one created and fitted for a specific purpose and coming with multiple airfoils. The airfoil is the propeller’s cross-section, which makes lift, much like you would discover in the construction of a plane wing. They generally come with a thicker front edge that gradually tapers to one thin trailing edge; that way helps lessen drag and focuses power on producing lift.

The chord length and shape of an airfoil, along with the angle of attack (AoA) that it holds, essentially decide how much drag and lift it could create when the propeller turns at a particular speed. For an entire propeller, the AoA and chord length are constantly intended to explicit qualities and differ at various radius positions. 

More often than not, a more curve airfoil, more sizable, or more steeply angled drone propeller generates enhanced lift. But be that as it may, it might likewise present more drag, leading to reduced efficiency, and likely even stall in case angles are excessively large.

2. Related safety risks

Also, it is essential to note that the weight and size of the flying robot dictate the size and number of propellers required, along with the speed that the propellers must turn to accomplish flight. Less sizable UAVs do not be at significant risk of injury as their propellers are soft, small, and do not rotate with close to as much force as their bigger brothers. Yet they are as yet dangerous. 

Large UAVs, but be that as it may, represent a more significant safety-related danger since the propellers are more sizable and tend to be constructed out of unbending material, for example, carbon fiber and hard plastics. Interacting with a turning propeller on an automaton such as a Phantom 2 from DJI and Parrot AR 2.0 could bring about significant harm. 

You are nearly guaranteed to get lacerated, and based on the impact, this could ask for stitches or even worse. For more information, why do not you Google UAV propeller injuries and look into the pictures that are presented?

Needless to say, do not stick your feet, hands, or other objects in a moving propeller’s path. Propellers are vital for flight, and you cannot cover them up totally as you should have the option to move air through your drone propellers to make a lift. Fortunately, there are a couple of safety measures in this regard.

3. Safety indicators

Each flying robot model has its own set of indicators for safety, and you have to know what these are before you run your automaton. To figure out how to define where they are as well as what they mean, read through the user manual of your UAV. 

Usually, before getting airborne, you should arm the motors and flight controller of your automaton. The procedure for doing so may vary by drone, yet the purpose is similar for every UAV. Arming these flying machines is the last thing that you should do before you begin flying – It tells the automaton that it is the go time and offers control to the controller.

In case your safety indicator shows that your automaton is armed, AVOID PICKING IT UP. In case you missed it, an armed UAV is prepared to fly, and any movement can make the propellers begin turning automatically to attempt to balance out the aircraft. If you pick up an armed UAV, then you risk injury from the drone propellers. 

Regardless of whether you are wrapping up a flight or are preparing to fly, do not pick up your automaton except if this machine is obviously disarmed. For expanded security, disconnect the battery too.

Do prop guards affect flight?

When it comes to the drone’s safety features, you may not want to miss the propeller guards. 

Major UAV makers such as Parrot and DJI incorporate a couple of safety mechanisms with their models. The well-known Phantom UAVs from DJI feature propeller guards that are intended to give an enhanced degree of protection from propeller injuries as a consequence of side impacts. 

In case your flying robot takes off, and others or you are standing excessively close, an unforeseen breeze will be likely to blow the UAV into you, resulting in genuine injury. The propeller guard gives specific protection from such a situation.

1. Why are propeller guards worth it?

Here is why they are necessary:

  • Safety, safety, and ultimate safety – You can discover a lot of videos on YouTube of bloody arms, hands, and fingers, which came about because of UAV propeller mishaps. The propeller guards will make it considerably less likely this will occur to you or, all the more critically, to a guiltless bystander. 
  • Improved recovery – There will be less likelihood that your drone will be trapped in a tree. The propeller guard is useful for deflecting the automaton following a collision.
  • Simpler to carry – You currently have something to take hold of (not while the UAV is on!) and protect your propellers in case you drop it. 
  • Expanded visibility – You will be able to see your drone from a more prominent separation. The expanded size makes the device considerably more noticeable. 
  • Better landing protection – Your UAV will, in the end, land on its side. But be that as it may, with the guards, the propellers will be protected. 
  • They appear cool – The ‘coolness’ factor is expanded! Remarkable ‘carefully dressed’ appearance will attract more female owners!
  • They are well priced – Be sure you scroll down to check out the top product recommendations.

2. Do they negatively affect flight?

Propeller guards are practical when it comes to protecting the automaton during flight, yet they likewise add more weight. In case you are a veteran pilot, removing these guards can make your flight times a little bit longer. However, in case you are a newbie, or in the event that you are flying in a difficult place, you will need to choose if the extra flight time you may get from moving the guards out merits the hazard to your automaton. 

With that being said, removing these things should not be your big concern. Their impact on the flight is not so much. For instance, the DJI Mavic Air propeller guards have a weight of around 40 grams, which means about nine percent of the quadcopter’s total weight. Your time of flight will be reduced by about 1.5 – two minutes theoretically.

One thing to note, the more sizable propeller guards will affect the UAV the most.

How do I choose a propeller guard for my drone?

XtremeAmazing Propellers + Propeller Guard for DJI Spark Drone
XtremeAmazing Propellers + Propeller Guard for DJI Spark Drone

Now that you have an idea of the benefits of propeller guards, do you want to shop for one? Wait… before you are in the market for a guard, be sure you read through the key considerations below.

1. Check out features

  • The reasonable weight: Avoid buying the one that is too heavy. It can affect your flight experience, for example.
  • Flight protection: Your propeller guard should protect the propellers well and enhance the safety of the flight. It is particularly helpful for new drone pilots, or when you are flying inside or in areas with hindrances. 
  • Not substantially affecting the flight time: With the appropriate propeller guard mounted, the max flight time should be favorable.

In general, it will be best if your purchase is lightweight and completely protects the propellers, aside from ensuring flight safety. Again, to maximize the safety, if it is not too much trouble, keep away from any contact between the UAV and yourself or others since the machine gets powered on. 

2. Go for a combination of affordability and quality.

Cost is consistently a consideration as you are making a buy. 

If you are purchasing a UAV, determining what price to search for can be overpowering because the cost may differ to some extent. These flying machines can cost as meager as a couple of dollars and as much as a few thousand dollars. 

Obviously, your spending plan should restrict your options to some degree. Furthermore, finding models that both fit your level of skills and do what you desire them to, (for example, take photographs) should likewise help narrow down your range of price.

Meanwhile, when it comes to buying propeller guards, the process may be easier for you. They are overall not too pricey. With that being said, you should consider this factor to minimize your expense.

Have a thought of about how much the sort of guard you need costs. By doing so, you will be able to further determine the amount to spend by balancing affordability and quality. 

One unit might be a lot less expensive than others and cater to your criteria. Nonetheless, you may find that the material’s quality used to construct it is lower-quality than that utilized in the more costly guards. Then again, you may find that the higher-priced one does not perform fundamentally better than a couple of the more affordable products.

That is why it is critical to balance affordability and adjust. The ideal approach to choose a quality propeller guard is to peruse the specifications and reviews. Such information will reveal to you how the item is created and how it performs for other customers. 

Reviews from customers should provide you with a great idea of how nicely each model balances quality and cost. In case you choose the one that has incredible feedback and specifications and that likewise falls into the range of price you can spend on, then you should eventually get yourself a guard that deserves your investment in.

3. Consider product recommendations

Most of the time, it is agreeable that new UAV pilots should get proper propeller guards if they do not want to end up spending a great deal on replacement propellers.

UAV propeller guards, if accessible for your particular UAV, can spare your propellers from getting harmed upon impact. As mentioned above, these simple-to-install things are additionally useful for protecting objects and people from going through damage by your propellers on account of a mishap. If you are interested, here are some top-rated propeller guards in the market these days:

4. How about DIY projects?

If you have some skills, you may want to 3D print a propeller guard to give yourself some peace of mind that your drone will not bump into objects and break or tear the propellers, or even both.

To begin with, pull out your calipers and measure your UAV. Get a close approximation of where your drone propellers would turn. To confirm your measurements, you can print your design template. 

Propellers installing on flying drone, close-up. Building of quadrocopter
Propellers installing on flying drone, close-up. Building of quadrocopter.

The delight of having a 3D printer when you are designing is the capacity to print your test pieces from the earliest starting point stages to see, handle, as well as check the fit. You will probably experience a few iterations and adjust a few dimensions until you are content with the fit.

Now that it appears and fits terrific! It is an ideal opportunity to go fly and hopefully not wreck anything.

The bottom line

In case you are figuring out how to fly your UAV, or in case you plan on flying indoor often, you should get yourself a propeller guard. This is fundamentally a protective cage which will go around your propellers and be able to help save them from damage in the event that you happen to collide something, etc.

On the other hand, you ought to know that adding the guards to your UAV will marginally affect the performance of the flight – it is more weight, all things considered. 

We do hope that the above significant details help with your understanding of propeller guards. Happy and safe flying!

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