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Aircraft Propellers
General Information
Type of Propellers
Control and Operations
Prop Turning
Type of propellers
      In designing propellers, the maximum performance of the airplane for all condition of operation from takeoff, climb, cruising, and high speed. The propellers may be classified under eight general types as follows:
      1. Fixed pitch: The propeller is made in one piece. Only one pitch setting is possible and is usually two blades propeller and is often made of wood or metal.
      Wooden Propellers : Wooden propellers were used almost exclusively on personal and business aircraft prior to World War II .A wood propeller is not cut from a solid block but is built up of a number of seperate layers of carefully selected .any types of wood have been used in making propellers, but the most satisfactory are yellow birch, sugar mable, black cherry, and black walnut. The use of lamination of wood will reduce the tendency for propeller to warp. For standard one-piece wood propellers, from five to nine seperate wood laminations about 3/4 in. thick are used.

      Metal Propellers : During 1940 , solid steel propellers were made for military use. Modern propellers are fabricated from high-strength , heat-treated,aluminum alloy by forging a single bar of aluminum alloy to the required shape. Metal propellers is now extensively used in the construction of propellers for all type of aircraft. The general appearance of the metal propeller is similar to the wood propeller, except that the sections are generally thinner.

      2. Ground adjustable pitch: The pitch setting can be adjusted only with tools on the ground before the engine is running. This type of propellers usually has a split hub. The blade angle is specified by the aircraft specifications. The adjustable - pitch feature permits compensation for the location of the flying field at various altitudes and also for variations in the characteristics of airplanes using the same engine. Setting the blade angles by loosened the clamps and the blade is rotated to the desired angle and then tighten the clamps.
      3. Two-position : A propeller which can have its pitch changed from one position to one other angle by the pilot while in flight.
      4. Controllable pitch: The pilot can change the pitch of the propeller in flight or while operating the engine by mean of a pitch changing mechanism that may be operated by hydraulically.
      5. Constant speed : The constant speed propeller utilizes a hydraulically or electrically operated pitch changing mechanism which is controlled by governor. The setting of the governor is adjusted by the pilot with the rpm lever in the cockpit. During operation, the constant speed propeller will automatically changs its blade angle to maintain a constant engine speed. If engine power is increase, the blade angle is increased to make the propeller absorb the additional power while the rpm remain constant. At the other position, if the engine power is decreased, the blade angle will decrease to make the blades take less bite of air to keep engine rpm remain constant. The pilot select the engine speed required for any particular type of operation.
      6. Full Feathering : A constant speed propeller which has the ability to turn edge to the wind and thereby eliminate drag and windmilling in the event of engine failure. The term Feathering refers to the operation of rotating the blades of the propeller to the wind position for the purpose of stopping the rotation of the propeller to reduce drag. Therefore , a Feathered blade is in an approximate in-line-of-flight position , streamlined with the line of flight (turned the blades to a very high pitch). Feathering is necessary when the engine fails or when it is desirable to shutoff an engine in flight.
      7. Reversing : A constant speed propeller which has the ability to assume a negative blade angle and produce a reversing thrust. When propellers are reversed, their blades are rotated below their positive angle , that is, through flat pitch, until a negative blade angle is obtained in order to produce a thrust acting in the opposite direction to the forward thrust . Reverse propeller thrust is used where a large aircraft is landed, in reducing the length of landing run.
      8. Beta Control : A propeller which allows the manual repositioning of the propeller blade angle beyond the normal low pitch stop. Used most often in taxiing, where thrust is manually controlled by adjusting blade angle with the power lever.

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