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Thoughts on non-original propellers

Wowwowwo

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Hi everyone,

As a new Anafi owner and due to the multiple reports of propellers 'exploding' or disintegrating in mid-flight, I was wondering if any of you have experience/thoughts/opinions on non-original propellers available on amazon/ebay/aliexpress which are a quarter the price of the original parrot ones. Are they of a good enough quality so they don't break due to centrifugal forces alone? For example these ones which are only 2 USD for 8 pieces.

I too have noticed a small nick in the propellers, and I initially thought that it is caused by me slamming it into the wall while flying indoors at low speeds (the phone slid out of the support (i had a thin case on) and pressed on the control stick). I replaced the ones damaged by the small crash, but after a few flights i noticed nicks on other propellers which I don't think are caused by the initial crash.

Also, as a second question, any thoughts/experience about batteries? Does anyone use non-original batteries and how do they behave, performance observations etc...
 

AugerIn

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Original props are cheap, and you get spares with the drone.

Prop failures will always be noteworthy, but there isn’t any indication that these props fail more than any other, and warranty is probably going to be more difficult with a third party prop.

Same deal with batteries. I use a third party lipo with other drones where I can get double the amp hours for a slightly larger size, but the only Anafi batteries I’ve seen are just clones.

Yeah, the price sucks for batteries, but this is the part of the drone that might catch fire and explode if faulty, not the place you want to be stingy, and again, if you’re in warranty and anything goes wrong you don’t want to give the company reason to say it isn’t their fault.
 

Dirk_ANAFI

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... but there isn’t any indication that these props fail more than any other, and warranty is probably going to be more difficult with a third party prop.
I think it would be helpful, if pilots having trouble with their props would mention here, if the props are original or not.
 

Agustine

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Before my crash\fly away I had changed out 3 props for chips or hair line cracks. They where all original replacement props that comes with the Anafi. The forth prop that shattered at the hub was also the original.

Now way back in July or Aug we could not get props or batteries here in Canada. I reached out to customer support and they sent me a link to the cheaper Chinese ones from Amazon. I still have that email just in case I needed to prove to them they were the ones who gave me the link.
 

Wowwowwo

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... I reached out to customer support and they sent me a link to the cheaper Chinese ones from Amazon. I still have that email just in case I needed to prove to them they were the ones who gave me the link.

Interesting....I wonder if the propellers are made of pretty regular plastic or if they have anything special about them regarding material or manufacturing process.
BTW, do the cheap Chinese propellers from Amazon come with screws in the box like the original spare ones?
 

CraigCam

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I bought Anabee props - black and white - and flew them no problem until one day I think one popped loose and I took a nasty crash. I put the stock ones back on right away. So I’m thinking they are ok but require more inspections and replacement so the cost is not really a bargain if you consider these things...


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
 

Agustine

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Interesting....I wonder if the propellers are made of pretty regular plastic or if they have anything special about them regarding material or manufacturing process.
BTW, do the cheap Chinese propellers from Amazon come with screws in the box like the original spare ones?

No the screws are not included. This can account some for the cheaper price. Going by the reviews from Amazon people are very happy with them. Looking them over I can not see any difference.

 

Wowwowwo

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Very thorough Agustine, thanks for that. I assume that there is not a whole lot of difference between the two.
BTW, in the first picture I see a small crack at the tip of the propeller.
The local Amazon does not have the Anbee brand, but it does have several other brands that look identical, for 7 eur for 16 pcs
 

Agustine

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LOL yes that is one of the ones I removed for that very reason. I just had it on my desk so I used it for comparison. Good eye site :)
 

SMOk3

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I use the Anbee 16pc set and have never had any problems with them.
 

pmh1nic

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When it comes to something like propellers, where a failure can ultimately result in the destruction of the drone, I'm going to stick with OEM propellers. The 0.1 gram difference in weight is a 16% increase which in my mind is too much for me to be comfortable with putting them on the drone. I couldn't find the maximum speed of the motors used on the Anafi but the maximum speed of Bebop motors is 12,000 rpm. College physic class if 40 years behind me but the additional 16% turning at 12,000 rpm has to be a stress multiplier that I'd rather avoid.
 

Agustine

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I wanted to do a slow mo video of the props starting up this morning. I had all four props with the trailing edge against the hubs. From what I can see going frame by frame it takes two revolutions for the props to spring into action (fully extended). At no time did they hit the other hub. What I did notice was when they come to a stop the leading edge smashes against the hub coming to a full stop.
 

AaronB

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College physic class if 40 years behind me but the additional 16% turning at 12,000 rpm has to be a stress multiplier that I'd rather avoid.

I would be OK with the 16% increase being only on the hub...
 

Liger 1956

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As Agustine's scales only have a resolution of 0.1g the actual difference in weights could be a lot less than 0.1g e.g. a weight of 0.64g may be displayed as 0.6g on the scales but a weight of 0.66g may be displayed as 0.7g therefore the actual difference in blade weights could be 0.02g or even less.
 

Wowwowwo

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So it all comes down to the quality of non-original propellers to withstand the centrifugal forces due to the (very slightly) increased weight. During the startup they may or may not be hitting the hub, so they need to be strong enough not to disintegrate during that flight.

I remember seeing a forum member doing a simulation in a physics software of what happens with the propellers when spun up form all 3 positions (extreme right and left next to hub and fully extended). He found out that in most cases the propellers touch/hit the hub.

The change in the centrifugal force due to the ~0.1 g in weight can be easily calculated using this online calculator: Centrifugal Force Calculator - Omni

From my very, very rough calculations, (mass = 0.1g, radius= 3.5 cm(??), RPM=12,000), the extra force exerted on the propellers is 5.5 N which is 5.5N/9.81m/s = 0.56 kg force, which in my opinion is not a whole lot.
 

AaronB

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From my very, very rough calculations, (mass = 0.1g, radius= 3.5 cm(??), RPM=12,000), the extra force exerted on the propellers is 5.5 N which is 5.5N/9.81m/s = 0.56 kg force, which in my opinion is not a whole lot.
Perhaps the most important thing is the consistency in weight of the propellers. Unequal weight will result in extra vibration - which is probably the biggest killer of props - apart from human error...
 

Gérard

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For information in France we had a lot of problem with the propellers of the bebop 2. A lot of drone fell to acuse propellers that had a slight defect. Parrot reviewed his copy and then everything went back to normal. I think it's too risky to buy propellers from another supplier than parrot. Now everyone takes his responsibilities. Good flights to all.
 

pmh1nic

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For information in France we had a lot of problem with the propellers of the bebop 2. A lot of drone fell to acuse propellers that had a slight defect. Parrot reviewed his copy and then everything went back to normal. I think it's too risky to buy propellers from another supplier than parrot. Now everyone takes his responsibilities. Good flights to all.

If we were talking about a $50 difference I might take the chance but we're talking about a difference of a few dollars that could make a difference in the flight characteristics of a relatively expense aircraft. I agree with you, it's not worth the risk IMHO.
 

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