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Picture a standard quadcopter, with regular old propeller guards, which are generally just circles around the propellers. Now, take the propeller guards and stretch them so that they're cylinders surrounding the immediate cross-section of propeller blades, as well as some distance above/beneath them.

Now I am fairly certain that it would be able to go up/down. But would it be able to turn? I know it is a relatively vague question, but after thinking about it for some time, I really have no idea. I might just modify the propeller guards on my cheap little drone to see if this works.

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    $\begingroup$ Place to start reading: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ducted_fan $\endgroup$ – Greg Hewgill Nov 28 '18 at 21:49
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    $\begingroup$ Oh nice, I didn't know that was what they were called, thanks! I'm trying to make it such that the cylinders are longer than what a standard ducted fan looks like (it seems like they only protrude past the propeller a bit) but this is a good starting point. Thanks! $\endgroup$ – Shane Duffy Nov 28 '18 at 21:52
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Yes. It would be able to turn. Of your 4 propellers, 2 spin clockwise and 2 spin counterclockwise. The torques cancel out. To make it spin, you run the 2 clockwise propellers a little faster and the other 2 a little slower. Now the torques do not cancel out and the quadcopter spins. This does not change if you have a ducted fan versus a propeller

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  • $\begingroup$ Yeah that's kind of what I was thinking, is that it is virtually the same system so it should work the same. The thing is my design requires "ducts" that are approximately 6 inches long so I'm not sure how efficiently it would be able to achieve static flight. I know ducted fans are less efficient when the vehicle is not in motion... Thanks though! $\endgroup$ – Shane Duffy Nov 28 '18 at 23:59

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