Without a method of converting the power produced by the engine into useful thrust an aircraft would just be sitting still and creating a lot of noise and not get anywhere. In the past, all kinds of different propeller designs were tried: sometimes flat wooden blades, from one bladed counter weighted to multiple blade models rotating at various speeds.
Most aircraft propellers are nowadays build from a fine selection of materials like wood, metals and carbon or other fibers to form a strong construction.
Warp Drive builds solid carbon fiber, ground adjustable propellers for a wide variety of applications ranging from LSA(Light Sport Aircraft), experimental aircraft, gyrocopters, trikes, powered parachutes, airboats and wind machines.
Warp Drive propeller blades are among the stiffest on the market, they flex under load but do not warp, and are made from carbon fiber. These are easily repairable by the factory, but do send them all blades of your propeller so that they can be cleaned refinished, balanced and inspected as a whole, complete set.
The company supplies two, three and multi-blade propeller assemblies (up to six) in their product line. The shape of the blades can be straight or tapered. The leading edge protection consists of either a 3M Stoneguard polyurethane tape or an optional nickel inlaid protection, which we highly recommend for protection against rain, stones and sand erosion. The hub, 3M tape, protractor and assembly instructions are included with the propeller. Painted tips are also possible in various styles for increased visibility.
The tapered blades are typically used on aircraft with higher cruise speeds. With a given engine the taper allows for a higher blade pitch an thus a higher engine RPM/power and aircraft speed. Compared to a straight blade the taper has less drag. See image to the right for an example of these high performance blades.
A number of hubs are available: standard, HP and HPL for the two (2) and three (3) blade propellers. The four, five and six blade models use an OS or Turbo hub.
This hub has flat aluminum plates and composite blocks to secure the blades. Typically the standard hubs will have a 75 mm mounting bolt pattern, the standard in the industry. It is the least expensive option.
These are billet machined aluminum hubs, by far the lightest option weight wise. These can accommodate larger mounting-bolt patterns you find on the 4 inch Rotax. The HP hub is for 'high power' applications, applications with harsher engine impulses found on ULPower, Lycoming and Continental direct drive engines. It is also used for situations where a larger bolt pattern is required.
Comparable to the standard, these have flat aluminum plates and composite blocks to secure the blades. There is a four blade OS hub that makes it onto some aircraft but the 5, 6, 8, 10, and 12 blade hubs are primarily for airboat applications. Turbo indicates that there are multiple rows of blades.
Spinners are available in several sizes: from 4 inch up to 10 inch and they are made of aluminum, fiberglass or carbon fiber.
Some aircraft will need an extension to clear the propeller from the cowling or other esthetic reasons. Warp Drive sells these in several sizes from 1.5, 2 , 3 and 4 inch.
As propellers need to be mounted onto the engine eventually, you will need some bolts, nuts and washers. Warp Drive also provides in this, they have a selection of these items perfectly suitable for their hubs and faceplates. Available for standard, Rotax and SAE bolt patterns. These mounting bolts are sold separately.
Due to the fact that the unprotected leading-edge is able to handle most minor impacts with little or no need for repair, the protective tape is not installed at the factory. However, it is included should you wish to apply it. There is a little aerodynamic disadvantage compared to the nickel leading edge (although this is valid for all propellers with a protective tape).
The most durable leading-edge option is the 'Inlaid Nickel Leading-Edge'. This leading edge protection is guaranteed against water damage for as long as you own the propeller. The nickel edge is completely embedded in the propeller blade profile so there is no decrease in performance. The nickel leading-edge is required for all amphibious aircraft, any aircraft flying in rain, and all airboats.
Warp Drive Propellers can be contacted at the following addresses:
|Warp Drive, Inc.|
|1207 Highway 18 East|
|Ventura, Iowa 50482 USA|
|+1 800 833 9357|
Text and images used with permission of Warp Drive Inc.Written by EAI.