17Ŵ1 Þropeller lundamenLals

lade LlemenL 1heory
W Plgh/low blade angleţ reverse angleţ angle of
aLLackţ roLaLlonal speedŤ
W Þropeller sllpŤ
W Aerodynamlcţ cenLrlfugalţ and LhrusL forcesŤ
W 1orqueŤ
W 8elaLlve alrflow on blade angle of aLLackŤ
W vlbraLlon and resonanceŦ
8as|c 1erms
,any people have Lrouble wlLh Lhe Lerms face and back so lL ls helpful Lo
vlsuallse Lhe flaL slde of Lhe blade (Lhe face) as faclng Lhe plloL when he ls ln Lhe
aslc 1erms
W As a propeller roLaLesţ lL produces llfLţ much as a wlng
produces llfLŦ A low pressure ls produced ln fronL of Lhe
blade whlch causes Lhe alrcrafL Lo move forwardŦ 1hls
low pressure areaţ comblned wlLh Lhe consLanLţ or hlgh
pressure area behlnd Lhe blade allow a propeller Lo
produce LhrusLŦ 1he amounL of LhrusL produced
depends on several facLors lncludlngţ Lhe angle of
aLLack of Lhe propeller bladesţ Lhe speed Lhe blades
move Lhrough Lhe alrţ and Lhe shape of Lhe alrfollŦ
W Slmply puLţ a propeller works by acceleraLlng a arge
mass of a|r rearwards at a reat|ve ow veoc|tyŦ
Aerodynamlc AcLlon
W ecause a propeller blade ls a roLaLlng
aerofollţ lL produces llfL by aerodynamlc acLlon
and pulls an alrcrafL forwardŦ 1he amounL of
llfL produced depends on Lhe aerofoll shapeţ
8Þ,ţ and ange of attack of Lhe propeller
blade secLlons or elemenLsŦ
lade SLaLlon
SLarLlng from Lhe cenLrellne of Lhe hub of a
propellerţ each blade can be marked off ln oneŴlnch
lncremenLs known as 8ade Stat|onsŦ
A 8ade Lement ls a randomly selecLed area of
blade alrfoll beLween Lwo lade SLaLlonsŦ
lf Lhe blade angle ls measured aL each of Lhese
sLaLlonsţ Lhe blade angle near Lhe cenLre of Lhe
propeller wlll be hlghesL wlLh a decrease ln blade
angle Loward Lhe LlpŦ
1hls decrease ln blade angle from Lhe hub Lo Lhe Llp
ls known as p|tch d|str|but|onŦ A cross secLlon aL
each blade sLaLlon wlll show lowŴspeed aerofolls
near Lhe hub and hlghŴspeed aerofolls Loward Lhe
lade veloclLy
W 1he veloclLy of Lhe blade ls equal Loť
W ƹ 8oLaLlonal Speed ln 8ad /s
W 8 ƹ 8adlus of Lhe bladeŦ
ÞlLch ulsLrlbuLlon
W 1he plLch dlsLrlbuLlon and Lhe change ln aerofoll shape
along Lhe lengLh of Lhe blade are necessary because
each secLlon ls movlng aL a dlfferenL veloclLy wlLh Lhe
slowesL speeds near Lhe hub and Lhe hlghesL speeds
near Lhe LlpŦ Conslder Lhree aerofoll elemenLs on a
propeller bladeŦ lf a propeller ls roLaLlng aL 1ţ8008Þ,ţ
Lhe 18 lnch sLaLlon wlll Lravel aL 192Ŧ7 ,ÞPţ whlle Lhe
36 lnch sLaLlon musL Lravel aL 383Ŧ4 ,ÞPţ and Lhe 48
lnch sLaLlon has Lo move aL 314 ,ÞPŦ
W 1he aerofoll LhaL glves Lhe besL llfL aL 192Ŧ7 ,ÞP would
be lnefflclenL aL 314 ,ÞPŦ 1hus Lhe aerofoll ls changed
gradually LhroughouL Lhe lengLh of Lhe bladeŦ
Þropeller ÞlLch
W Slnce Lhe plLch angle of a propeller blade
varles along lLs lengLhţ a parLlcular blade
sLaLlon musL be chosen Lo speclfy Lhe plLch of
a bladeŦ
W 1hls ls normally done by speclfylng Lhe angle
and Lhe blade sLaLlonţ as for example 14¨ aL
Lhe 320mm sLaLlonŦ
Þropeller ÞlLch
W 8aLher Lhan uslng blade angles aL a reference
sLaLlonţ some propeller manufacLurers express
plLch ln lnches aL 73Ʒ of Lhe radlusŦ
W 1he 73Ʒ sLaLlon ls known as Lhe masLer
lade Angle
1hls ls Lhe angle beLween Lhe
propeller plane of roLaLlon and Lhe
chord llne of a propeller alrfoll
8elaLlve Alrflow
Angle of ALLack
Angle of aLLack ls Lhe angle beLween Lhe aerofoll chord llne and Lhe relaLlve alrflowţ
where Lhe relaLlve alrflow ls a resulL of Lhe comblned veloclLles of roLaLlonal speed
(8Þ,) and alrspeedŦ 1he examples wlll serve Lo demonsLraLe how Lhe angle of aLLack
can changeŦ
Axis of
Plane of
Vector due to
rotational speed
lncrease ln 8oLaLlonal Speed (8Þ,)
Relative Airflow
Angle of Attack
New Angle of
Ìf the RPM increases, the vertical speed will increase, and this will
cause an increase in angle of attack.
lncrease ln Alrspeed
Relative Airflow
Angle of Attack
Ìf the airspeed increases, this will cause a decrease increase in angle of
Ìncrease in Airspeed
New Angle
of Attack
1he varlous blade angles
Pellx Angle
W 1he hellx angle ls Lhe angle beLween Lhe
relaLlve alrflow and Lhe plane of roLaLlonŦ
W SomeLlmes Lhls angle ls referred Lo as Lhe
Angle of AdvanceŦ
1hrusL ulsLrlbuLlon
W 1he blade ls mosL effecLlve beLween Lwo
Lhlrds and Lhree quarLers of Lhe span from Lhe
rooL Lo Lhe LlpŦ 1hls ls around 70Ʒ span whlch
ls approxlmaLely where Lhe masLer sLaLlon lsŦ
LffecL of lorward Speed
W As you lncrease Lhe forward speed you
decrease Lhe angle of aLLack
LffecL of roLaLlonal speed
W As you lncrease roLaLlonal speed you lncrease
Lhe angle of aLLackŦ
Cholce of lade angleŦ
W Cn LakeŴoff along a runwayţ Lhe englne power
wlll be aL a maxlmum buL Lhe alrcrafL forward
speed wlll be relaLlvely lowŦ WhaL wlll be Lhe
ldeal blade angleŦ
W noLe Lhe ldeal angle of aLLack ls beLween 2
and 4 degreesŦ
8ange of ,ovemenL 8everse Angle
A blade angle wlLh blade chord llne
beh|nd Lhe 'plane of roLaLlon' ls called a
'reverse blade angle'Ŧ A propeller wlLh
Lhls capablllLy ls referred Lo as a
'8everslng Þropeller'Ŧ 1he blade passes
Lhrough flne plLch Lo achleve reverse
LffecL of AlrcrafL ,anoeuvres
W WhaL occurs Lo Lhe blade geomeLry when Lhe
alrcrafL ls ln a cllmb / ln a dlveŦ
Þropeller Sllp
Þropeller plLch ls deflned as Lhe dlsLanceţ normally ln lnches LhaL a propeller wlll
move forward ln one revoluLlonŦ1hls ls based on Lhe propeller blade angle aL Lhe
73Ʒ blade sLaLlonŦ As deflnedţ propeller plLch ls more properly called geomeLrlc
plLch and ls LheoreLlcal ln LhaL lL does noL Lake lnLo accounL any losses due Lo
lnefflclencyŦ unllke drlvlng a screw lnLo woodţ a propeller does noL move forward aL
lLs geomeLrlc plLchŦ
Þropeller Sllp
W LffecLlve plLch ls Lhe dlsLance LhaL an alrcrafL acLually
moves forward ln one revoluLlon of Lhe propellerŦ LffecLlve
plLch may vary from zeroţ when Lhe alrcrafL ls sLaLlonary on
Lhe groundţ Lo abouL 83Ʒ durlng Lhe mosL efflclenL fllghL
condlLlonsŦ 1he d|fference between geometr|c p|tch and
effect|ve p|tch |s caed s|pŦ
W As an exampleť lf a propeller ls sald Lo have a plLch of 30
lnchesţ ln Lheory lL wlll move forward 30 lnches ln one
W uLţ lf Lhe alrcrafL acLually only moves forward 33 lnches ln
one revoluLlonţ Lhen Lhe effecLlve plLch ls 33 lnches and lLs
plLch efflclency ls 70ƷŦ 1he sllp ln Lhls case ls Lhen 13 lnches
or a 30Ʒ loss of efflclencyŦ
CalculaLlon of CeomeLrlc ÞlLch
W CeomeLrlc ÞlLch ƹ 268Ŧ1an 7
W Lxample
CalculaLe Lhe CeomeLrlc plLch of a blade LhaL has a
plLch angle of 14¨ and a radlus of 1Ŧ063m
1lp Speed
W normally abouL half of Lhe nolse made by a
propeller drlven alrcrafL ls made by Lhe
propeller lLselfŦ When Lhe propeller blade
Llps approach Lhe speed of soundţ vlbraLlons
are produced LhaL cause Lhe nolseŦ
W lor Lhe propeller dlsk Lo be as large as
posslble whlle keeplng Lhe Llps below Lhe
speed of soundţ mosL hlgh powered
reclprocaLlng englnes are geared so Lhe
propeller Lurns slower Lhan Lhe crankshafLŦ
lorces on a Þropeller
W CenLrlfugal lorceţ
W 1hrusL endlng lorceţ
W 1orque endlng lorceţ
W Aerodynamlc 1wlsLlng
,omenLţ and
W CenLrlfugal 1wlsLlng
CenLrlfugal lorce
1hrusL endlng lorce
1orque endlng lorce
1orque endlng lorces (1l) occur as alr reslsLance
opposes Lhe roLaLlonal moLlon of Lhe propeller
bladesŦ 1hls force Lends Lo bend Lhe propeller
blades back ln Lhe dlrecLlon opposlLe Lo Lhe
dlrecLlon of roLaLlonŦ
Aerodynamlc 1wlsLlng ,omenL
Aerodynamlc 1wlsLlng ,omenL (A1,) Lrles Lo LwlsL a blade Lo a h|gher bade ange
(coarser plLch) by aerodynamlc acLlonŦ 1hls resulLs from Lhe cenLre of roLaLlon of Lhe
blade belng aL Lhe mldŴpolnL of Lhe chord llne whlle Lhe cenLre of llfL (also called cenLre
of pressure) ls more Loward Lhe leadlng edge of Lhe bladeŦ
1hls Lends Lo cause an lncrease ln blade angleŦ Aerodynamlc 1wlsLlng ,omenL ls more
apparenL aL hlgher blade angles of aLLack and ls used ln some deslgns Lo ald ln feaLherlng
Lhe propellerŦ
CenLrlfugal 1wlsLlng ,omenL
CenLrlfugal 1wlsLlng ,omenL (C1,) Lends Lo decrease bade ange and opposes
Aerodynamlc 1wlsLlng ,omenLŦ 1he Lendency Lo decrease blade angle ls caused by all
parLs of a roLaLlng propeller Lrylng Lo move ln Lhe same plane of roLaLlon as Lhe blade
1hls force ls greaLer Lhan Lhe aerodynamlc LwlsLlng momenL aL operaLlonal 8Þ, and ls
used ln some deslgns Lo cause a decrease ln blade angleŦ
8elaLlve Alrflow Ŷ normal lllghL
W Lnglne ls drlvlng Lhe
W lade Angle ls ÞoslLlve
W AoA ls poslLlve
W 1hrusL ls poslLlve
W 1orque ls ÞoslLlve
%he blade angle and the AoA are
both positive, giving positve thrust
and positive torque.
8elaLlve Alrflow Ŷ Wlndmlll rake
W Þropeller drlvlng Lhe
englne (creaLlng
masslve drag)
W lade Angle ls ÞoslLlve
(low value)
W AoA ls negaLalve
W 1hrusL ls negaLlve
W 1orque ls negaLlve
A low blade angle will give a
negative AoA. %his will produce
negative thrust and negative drag.
Note there has to be forward aircraft
movement for the prop to windmill.
8elaLlve Alrflow Ŷ Þower on rake
W lade angle ls negaLlve
W AoA ls negaLlve
W 1hrusL ls negaLlve
W 1orque ls ÞoslLve
A negative blade angle will create a
large AoA. %his produces negative
thrust but because the engine is still
driving the propeller, the torque
remains positive.
%his is the reverse pitch facility and
is provided to enable the aircraft
have greater braking action.
W When a propeller ls produclng LhrusLţ
aerodynamlc and mechanlcal forces are presenL
whlch cause Lhe blades Lo vlbraLeŦ 8esonance wlll
occur lf propeller vlbraLlon frequency approaches
Lhe blades naLural frequencyŦ lf noL compensaLed
for ln Lhe deslgnţ Lhese vlbraLlons may cause
excesslve flexlngţ workŴhardenlng of Lhe meLalţ
and resulL ln secLlons of Lhe propeller blade
breaklng off durlng operaLlonŦ
W Aerodynamlc forces have a greaL vlbraLlon effecL
aL Lhe Llp of a blade where Lhe effecLs of
Lransonlc speeds cause buffeLlng and vlbraLlonŦ
W 1hese vlbraLlons maybe decreased by use of
Lhe proper alrfolls and Llp deslgnsŦ ,echanlcal
vlbraLlons are generaLed by Lhe power pulses
ln a plsLon englne and are consldered Lo be
more desLrucLlve ln Lhelr effecL Lhan
aerodynamlc vlbraLlonŦ 1hese englne power
pulses cause a propeller blade Lo vlbraLe and
seL up sLandlng wave paLLerns LhaL cause
meLal faLlgue and fallureŦ
W 1he locaLlon and number of sLress polnLs
changes wlLh dlfferenL 8Þ, seLLlngsţ buL Lhe
mosL crlLlcal locaLlon for Lhese sLress
concenLraLlons ls abouL slx lnches ln from Lhe
Llp of Lhe bladesŦ
W -ow that you have competed th|s top|c you
shoud be abe to Def|ne bade eement
W Def|ne the foow|ng and expa|n the|r effect
on propeer thrustť
n|gh]ow bade angeţ
keverse angeţ
Ange of attackţ
kotat|ona speedŦ
W Def|ne propeer s|pŦ
W Def|ne the foow|ng |n regards to propeersť
W Def|ne the effect of changes |n the d|rect|on
of the reat|ve a|rfow on bade ange of
W Def|ne the effects of v|brat|on and resonanceŦ

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