Facing the growing traffic fleet in the cities nowadays, it is believed that three-dimensional urban transportation could be a solution and will be introduced in the near future. Vertical take-off and landing flying platforms powered by ducted fans will attract increasingly attention because it has advantages on high propulsion efficiency, low noise, and better safety. However, unlike traditional open-blade multi-rotor drones, ducted fan drones lack a systematic design approach that comprehensively considers the overall system performance and the power unit efficiency. Current design procedure leads to insufficient load capacity and low efficiency systems. This paper proposes an overall design method for a ducted fan-type vertical take-off and landing flight platform. The ducted fan and motor of the core power unit are designed and selected aiming at improving aerodynamic efficiency and structural utilization of the system. A heavy-load vertical take-off and landing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) powered by ducted fans with a take-off weight of 450kg is designed based on this method. CFD simulation is utilized to calculate the performance of the designed Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, and finite element analysis is carried out to examine the overall strength safety. The final design results show that the overall design method plays a great role in the development of ducted fan UAV.

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