A NewAtlas story linked to a Kickstarter for a the "Whisper Drone" that shows a CAD model of a rotor that the Kickstartee-aspirant has apparently 3D-printed and flown (four of) on a quadcopter. I find the rotor strongly reminiscent of something I can't place.

Is the rotor design new? If not, what is it (presumably a variant of)?

  • $\begingroup$ It looks a lot like the impeller from an old Morphy Richards hair dryer I owned years ago. $\endgroup$
    – user31680
    Commented Jul 14, 2018 at 22:14
  • $\begingroup$ I believe this is essentially a centrifugal duct fan that you'll find in some vacuum cleaners - heko-electronic.com/home-ventilation/vacuum-cleaner/… $\endgroup$
    – Party Ark
    Commented Jul 15, 2018 at 12:23

1 Answer 1


The rotors on that drone are of the centrifugal fan type. They are not new in design (don't know about aircraft use though) and can be found in all kinds of everyday appliances: hairdryers, vacuum cleaners, car A/C blowers, etc. They move air at a 90° angle, sucking it in from the top and expelling it from the side.

Apparently they are more silent in this application than a normal propeller (or so the kickstarter claims) but it is easy to spot some downsides. Weight for one thing, as it seems they need a lot more material for construction than a normal prop.

  • $\begingroup$ Hmm. It looks like the ramp that drops out toward the edge also provides an axial thrust component. I agree it seems like a variant of a centrifugal fan though. $\endgroup$
    – Erin Anne
    Commented Jul 16, 2018 at 19:37

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