You may not have heard of Azure Power but when they appeared on the scene with an interesting new prop design we had to get hold of some to see what they could do.
Azure promptly sent us a box of goodies to test which included 3 variations on their new design. The boomerang inspired blade shape claims to be just as powerful but more efficient than conventional 3 blade props and there’s no denying they look awesome but how will they perform?
The 5045’s come in three flavours: ‘Race & Freestyle’, ‘Race’ and ‘Race Pro’, the difference being in the materials and graphics.
The Race and Freestyle props are plastic and have the most flex of the three. They are by no means ‘bendy’ like an HQ durable but they recover well from crashes. I bent one in half in crash and pushed it straight back into line, although finding the correct shape was harder than repairing a straight blade.
The Race props are a glass fibre nylon mix and are stiffer than the freestyle props. We haven’t had a severe enough crash yet to test their durability but they feel a little snappier to fly and though there’s little in it they seem to corner sharper than the plastic versions.
The Race Pro prop is a PPA Carbon mix that produces a very stiff blade. These are some serious props and though we haven’t broken one yet it’s hard to imagine bending one of these back. They have a really responsive feel and sound fantastic.
We’ve gotten used to some new blade designs, first with the cyclones and then the Racekraft props. I have to say I love the shape of these props and in theory they should be better at resisting impacts when spinning than a straight blade due to the trailing edge. The graphics allow you to easily denote which type of prop you’re picking up. I feel like they’ve nailed it on the Race Pro which look pretty hardcore. The decals on the others do the job but run the risk of looking a little toy like. I think people are going to love or hate them and nothing in between.
Rather surprisingly, the Carbon PPA race props are not the lightest of the bunch but they are all significantly lighter than the DAL 5045 and Cyclone offerings.
HQ Durable – 4.4g
Azure Race & Freestyle – 4.5g
Race Pro 4.8g
Azure Race – 5.1g
DAL Cyclone – 5.2g
Gem fan 5045 Tri – 5.4g
DAL T5045 – 5.7g
Thrust test results
The Thrust tests were conducted using the ZMX Fusion X30 motor and a LittleBee 30A ESC. The rig was powered by a 16AH Multistar 4S so any variations in power between tests should be negligible.
The results were a pleasant surprise for a brand new prop. When compared to the Gemfan 5045 the thrust for all three Azure variations were within a few grams at full throttle. All three props were more efficient than the Gemfan drawing less Amps with a lower power draw.
Gemfan 5045 Tri – Max thrust 1282g @ 33.71A & 543W 2.36 g/W
Azure Race & FS – Max thrust 1251g @ 30.17A & 486W 2.57 g/W
Azure Race – Max thrust 1252g @ 29.38A & 473W 2.65 g/W
Azure Race Pro – Max thrust 1265g @ 31.74A & 511W 2.48 g/W
According to the numbers it seems the Race props offer the best balance of power and efficiency but the results are so close that we’ll be putting our money behind the Freestyle versions for their added durability. The Race Pro blades will be reserved just for days at the track as they’ll no doubt come at a price. Of course these numbers are specific to the X30 motor we were testing. Look out for the 5S Atto X210 build coming soon.
The important bit… how do they feel?
It’s a difficult thing to describe as how your craft flies is so subjective. I can say it feels ‘locked in’ which it does, or ‘buttery smooth’ which is also true but this doesn’t really offer any information.
What I will say is that on the first flight I felt immediately comfortable. I took the Freestyle props out for a spin and knew straight away how much throttle I needed to apply to avoid ground-based destruction and was able to fly with confidence from the start. I tried hard to upset the quad and couldn’t shake it. Another note is that they were much quieter than I expected. With such a savage shape I thought they’d be tearing through the air but the claims to efficiency are clearly founded. I comfortably got 2 and a half minutes of full speed thrashing out of a 1500mah 4S lipo and I’m already looking forward to my next one. Punch outs felt powerful and smooth and sharp turns felt precise and easy to control. There’s one or two moments of prop wash in the video above but they’re very minor. I’d say this is one of the smoothest props I’ve flown.
We’re going to have to fly these for a little while to get a really good impression. Many more crashes are needed to test the durability but as far as the performance goes I think Azure are on to a winner. No pricing is available yet but if it’s not too steep these are definitely going to be in my props box in the future.