Recent interest in the field of micro and nano scale air vehicles attracted the attention of many researchers all over the world. The challenge associated with these classes of vehicles is to develop efficient miniaturized components. There are different types of micro and nano air vehicles out of which fixed wing micro air vehicle is one of them. Propulsion system for most of the fixed wing MAVs is propeller driven by an electric motor powered by a battery. The endurance of the MAV mainly depends on the performance of these two components. Hence there is a scope to improve the performance of the propeller and motor. Efficient propeller design and its performance analysis are an iterative process and time consuming. In the present study, to ease the process of propeller design and analysis NALPROPELLER code has been developed using MATLAB. This code is based on minimum induced loss theory presented by E.E.Larrabee to generate planform, blade element momentum theory along with Prandtl hub-tip loss model for overall performance analysis and the performance plots could be viewed in the GUI windows. The code consists of three modules namely single airfoil design, multi airfoil design and analysis module. This code is compared with one of the propeller design and analysis code available in the internet JavaProp by Martin Hepperle, which is also based on minimum induced loss method.
From literature Eppler 193 airfoil show high lift to drag ratios at low Reynolds numbers . Eppler-193 airfoil is used in the evaluation of propeller performance.
A four inch diameter, two bladed, fixed pitch propeller is designed and analysed using this code. The design is compared with one of the design software JavaProp available online as an open source. A poly urethane casting propeller is fabricated based on the design. The performance comparison of the NALPROPELLER code, JavaProp and 3D CFD analysis is presented and discussed.