Propeller, Ducted Fan & UAV/Drone Design

DARcorporation engineers are capable of performing detailed aerodynamic design and analysis on any propeller or ducted fan. Flow characteristics around the propeller/fan rotor can be accurately analyzed and the optimal propeller layout can be determined to ensure superior aircraft performance. Preliminary design phase starts with airfoil geometry and initial structural layout followed by detailed design phase with more aerodynamic and structural analyses. The pressure distribution obtained from the aerodynamic analysis is used in structural design and analysis for optimal strength and weight of the propeller blades and related structures. DARcorporation can quickly produce manufacturing plans or drawings for propeller prototype construction and perform performance/structural testings as well, making DARcorporation a one-stop shop for your propeller or ducted fan design needs. Propeller & UAV Design Brochure.

Aerodynamic Design & Analysis

Based on Blade Element Momentum (BEM) theory, DARcorporation has developed and customized in-house software for initial aerodynamic design of propeller blades in ducted or unducted conditions. Employing a robust surface vorticity panel code and lifting line axisymmetric ducted fan analysis tool, thrust coefficient and power coefficient vs. advance ratio are obtained. Using high-fidelity computational fluid dynamics software (CFD) with rotation simulation, the full power-thrust curve can be constructed. The deliverables of aerodynamic design include recommendations on the number of blades, airfoil selection, chord and pitch distribution, rotor diameter, RPM and etc.

Structural Design & Analysis

DARcorporation utilizes physics-based, high-fidelity Siemens NX Nastran and Autodesk Nastran to analyze the propeller and rotor structures. DARcorporation engineers can perform structural analyses on strength, vibration, fatigue and optimization. Unwanted vibrations are identified and designed out of the system. The propeller is designed in such a way that the natural frequencies of the blades are different from the operating RPM.

Acoustic Analysis and Testing

DARcorporation engineers have the capability to perform analytical analyses of propeller noise. Using first‑order acoustic analytical tool, noise footprint can be obtained as a function of fan angle. The physics-based high-fidelity simulation tools we use can predict the sound pressure levels at various propeller working conditions. With an on-site acoustic chamber and acoustic testing instruments, we can measure and compare the acoustic/noise signature of different propellers. These measurements allow us to help customers design/select the quietest propeller possible for their aircraft.


DARcorporation has collected and analyzed a large number of commercially available drones and recognized the potential for significant improvement in the area of propeller performance and efficiency, as well as in structural design. Optimizing propeller blades by performing a detailed aerodynamic analysis will ensure that the drone flies longer, farther and more efficiently. Optimized structures will offer the same benefit. The extensive expertise DARcorporation has in aerodynamics and structures can provide any drone with a substantial improvement in propeller performance and overall quality.

In-House 3D Printing

DARcorporation uses a stereolithography (SLA) 3D printer for prototyping unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) propellers and other small parts. The use of this 3D printer decreases the design time required for small UAS propellers by reducing the fabrication time from a week to a day, giving us the ability to fabricate designs and have them installed on our in-house small UAS propeller test stands the next day. The 3D SLA printer allows us to keep a majority of our 3D printed parts and designs in-house instead of collaborating with other 3D print shops and having to wait weeks for parts.

Sample Projects

Proposal & Rates

Contact Us

Please contact us for additional information or a detailed proposal. Your detailed proposal will include cost, calendar schedule and estimated man-hours per task. This will be provided at no cost or obligation. We look forward to hearing from you!

Aeronautical Engineering Services: