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Published by: sunil on Mar 19, 2010
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A propeller is essentially a type of fan which transmits power by convertingrotational motion into thrust for propulsion of a vehicle such as an aircraft,ship, or submarine through a fluid such as water or air, by rotating two or more twisted blades about a central shaft, in a manner analogous to rotatinga screw through a solid. The blades of a propeller act as rotating wings (the blades of a propeller are in fact wings or airfoils), and produce force throughapplication of both Bernoulli's principle and Newton's third law, generatinga difference in pressure between the forward and rear surfaces of the airfoil-shaped blades and by accelerating a mass of air rearward.Rotating the Hamilton Standard 54H60 propeller on a US Navy EP-3EOrion's number four engine as part of pre-flight checks. The Orion is an anti-submarine warfare aircraft
The propeller of a Q400 (Dash 8) commercial airliner en route from Paris to London
The principle employed in using a screw propeller is used in sculling, a practice with a history of unknown length. It is part of the skill of propellinga Venetian gondola but was used in a less refined way in other parts of Europe and probably elsewhere. For example, propelling a Canadian canoewith a single paddle using a "j-stroke" involves a related but not identicaltechnique. Sculling, called "lu", was also used by the 3rd century AD, inChina.In sculling, a single blade is moved through an arc, from side to side takingcare to keep presenting the blade to the water at the effective angle. Theinnovation introduced with the screw propeller was the extension of that arcthrough more than 36by attaching the blade to a rotating shaft. In practice, there has to be more than one blade so as to balance the forcesinvolved. The exception is the Single-blade propeller system.The origin of the actual screw propeller starts, in the West, with Archimedes,who used a screw to lift water for irrigation and bailing boats, so famouslythat it became known as the Archimedes screw, although the Egyptians hadused this method to move water for irrigation, centuries earlier. Leonardo da
Vinci adopted the principle to drive his theoretical helicopter, sketches of which involved a large canvas screw overhead.In 1784, J. P. Paucton proposed a gyrocopter-like aircraft using similascrews for both lift and propulsion. At about the same time, James Watt proposed using screws to propel boats, although he did not use them for hissteam engines. This was not his own invention, though; Toogood and Hayshad patented it a century earlier, and it had become an uncommon use as ameans of propelling boats since that time.Propellers remained extremely inefficient and little-utilized until 1835, whenFrancis Pettit Smith discovered, purely by accident, a new way of building propellers. Up to that time, propellers were literally screws, of considerablelength. But during the testing of a boat propelled by one, the screw snappedoff, leaving a fragment shaped much like a modern boat propeller. The boatmoved faster with the broken propeller.[1]At about the same time, Frédéric Sauvage and John Ericsson applied for  patents on vaguely similar, although less efficient shortened screw propellers, leading to an apparently-permanent controversey as to who is theofficial inventor among those three men.The first screw propeller to be powered by a gasoline engine, fitted to asmall boat (now known as a powerboat) was installed by FredericLanchester, also from Birmingham. This was tested in Oxford. The first'real-world' use of a propeller was by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who usedit instead of paddle wheels to power the SS Great Britain.The twisted airfoil (aerofoil) shape of modern aircraft propellers was pioneered by the Wright brothers when they found that all existingknowledge on propellers (mostly naval) was determined by trial and error and that no one knew exactly how they worked. They found that a propeller is essentially the same as a wing and so were able to use data collated fromtheir earlier wind tunnel experiments on wings. They also found that therelative angle of attack from the forward movement of the aircraft wasdifferent for all points along the length of the blade, thus it was necessary tointroduce a twist along its length. Their original propeller blades are onlyabout 5% less efficient than the modern equivalent, some 100 years later.[2]

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