For years, we’ve been flying quads that have propeller nuts that you have to wrench down in order to replace the most often destroyed part of the FPV drone, the propellers.
The downsides to this are plentiful: if you don’t tighten it enough, you can drop out of the air when the nut loosens, and if you tighten it too much and you’re a goof like me, you can cut your hand holding the prop on while wrenching it down.
Additionally, this makes it more difficult and time-consuming to make changes to the quad, because any time you plug it into your computer to make changes on the flight controller, you really should remove all the propellers so you don’t have accidental finger removal.
Lastly, you have to bring a propeller nut wrench with you, and spare propeller nuts in case one gets lost while you’re out flying. The solution from Lumenier?
The POPO quick swap drone propeller system
Lumenier has made a new type of motor that does away with the need for propeller nuts with their POPO quick swap motor and associated line of propellers, and it really held up to our testing.
Basically, instead of a nut, which you can use as well if you want, you simply push down on a button on the top of the motor shaft that releases tension on 3 ball bearings that will then hold the propeller in place.
We put a set of Lumenier POPO quick swap motors on our test quad, and, as much as it pained my heart, crashed into trees, and eventually a metal basketball hoop pole trying to see how legitimate this propeller system is.
The first crash, I got stuck in a tree, and one of the propellers simply flew off the quad.
But every subsequent crash, including the crash into metal pole, did almost nothing to the propellers, and they didn’t have any issues while in flight.
The metal pole crash damaged the one motor, but the quick swap propellers were fine. So is this a worthwhile replacement for propeller nuts?
I would say a strong and hearty YES.
While there aren’t any cheap motors that use this system, every motor currently out costs in the $20 range.
It absolutely does its job of retaining the propeller and allowing you to quickly and easily swap out your propellers.
With a company like Gemfan, one of the best propeller makers out there designing and selling props for this system, I think we are safe to assume that more options will exist in the coming months for this and I will be using it on my future builds.