Propellers

The theory of propellers is like a greeting card with too many words.  You get the sentiment but after a while you just stop reading.  — Suzette Musetti A propeller is a wing specialized for the spiralling flowfield in which it operates. No, wait, that’s not right. The flowfield is not spiraling, the propeller is. This and other conundrums of modern aerodynamics (and mechanics) will be explored here in a quest for understanding the complexities of designing this seemingly simple device called a propeller. Propeller Design Workshop is an exploration of the history, literature, theory, and practice of propeller design. This work attempts to explain some of the principles of operation and fundamentals of design of propellers. Along the way, the history and literature of the topic are explored. Some software is revisited and some new software will be developed. The work is a work-in-progress always, no matter how finished it may eventually appear. The author is not the expert but the student; there is no “last word” here but only an extended book report. No warrantee is made, expressly or implicitly, that any statement is correct or any process, procedure, or software will give results, let alone correct results. However, the author’s own quest is to make the best propellers he can for the applications at hand; no effort is spared in this direction, but he retains the right to withhold his own discoveries for personal advantage. As James Coburn’s Nick Casey said to Bruce Boxleitner’s Billie Joe Robbins in The Baltimore Bullet, “I taught you everything you know, kid. But I didn’t teach you everything I know.” The hope is that the casually interested will glean some understanding of propellers, and that the homebuilder or engineer will find usefulness for specific applications. This site is not comprehensive. The design guidelines found here are shared in the spirit of elevating the art, but, caveat emptor! You are your own judge of applicability or fitness or correctness of interpretation of all here – the author assumes no liability or responsibility for anything, but instead challenges you to do your own homework – he has! Some Select Planned Topics: Propellers.  The principles of propeller design and theory of operation. Preliminaries.  The environment in which the propeller must operate. Propeller structure.  The physical requirements of the device itself. Propeller mechanics.  The attachment of the propeller to the engine. Propeller aerodynamics.  The calculation of the propeller shape and the prediction of its performance. Propeller performance.  The measured performance of the propeller. Operations and Maintenance.  How to use and maintain a propeller.