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View Full Version : Who invented the propeller?



blazer-glory
08-10-2005, 12:34 PM
I know the Wright brothers were the first with the powered flight but did they invent the prop??

Billy_BigBoy
08-10-2005, 12:40 PM
http://www.npg.org.uk/live/OC_Data/images/weblg/3/0/mw18430.jpg
Sir Francis Pettit Smith (1808-1874), Inventor of screw-propeller for steamships

Inadaze
08-10-2005, 01:19 PM
AFAIK The Wrights were the first to realise that a prop is basically a revolving wing and that insight allowed them to make the first effecient air prop.

blazer-glory
08-10-2005, 01:24 PM
Wow. You guys are good! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Ah Inadaze. A Beebop fan I see. Nice http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Viking-S
08-10-2005, 02:03 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propeller

LeadSpitter_
08-10-2005, 02:38 PM
China, Forth Century AD. By fourth century AD a common toy in China was the helicopter top, called the 'bamboo

kameron1974
08-10-2005, 03:00 PM
I don't know...you.

Billy_BigBoy
08-10-2005, 03:04 PM
Sooo...
This Sir Francis Pettit Smith was a fraud http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif

BTW, is it a propeller or a propellor.

Spectre1968
08-10-2005, 03:39 PM
Leonardo DaVinci? He seems to have invented most things http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

WarWolfe_1
08-10-2005, 05:12 PM
DaVinci

I think you are right.

Schutze_S
08-10-2005, 05:28 PM
Maybe Percy Pilcher might have been the first person to use a propeller for air and might have even beat the Wright Bros had he not died in a gliding accident

"By the fall of 1899 Pilcher believed he had answered the questions of how to control a powered craft (a doubtful proposition) and his powered triplane resulted. That flying machine was to be powered by a 4 h.p. engine driving two propellers, one tractor and one pusher, not unlike the powered biplane configuration adopted by Augustus Herring in 1898. Aviation historian Philip Jarrett's reconstruction of the configuration of the powered Pilcher Triplane (ca. 1980 ) includes only a shaft-driven pusher propeller design, as on the postulated powered "Hawk." By the last day of September 1899, Pilcher's powered triplane was very nearly ready for flight (save, apparently, for mounting the engine), but on that day Pilcher was gliding in his "Hawk." His theretofore reliable "Hawk" suffered a structural failure, fell, and Pilcher died two days later. Pilcher's powered triplane was never flown."

Quote from http://www.flyingmachines.org

hmm what if http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Fox_3
08-10-2005, 05:42 PM
How about the Archemides screw? First known users were the Babylonians apparently.

LEXX_Luthor
08-10-2005, 07:15 PM
Somebody long ago invented little propellor seeds, the spinning seeds that slow their fall by spinning in the air, thus extending their range on the wind.


A dry sycamore seed. These are sometimes called helicopters after the way they spin as they fall.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c1/Dry_sycamore_seed.jpg/180px-Dry_sycamore_seed.jpg
~ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sycamore_maple

BSS_Goat
08-10-2005, 08:03 PM
Who invented the propeller?

Some dude named RAAAID over on the PF forum.

woofiedog
08-10-2005, 08:25 PM
Elvira I believe...

http://www.elvira.com/stdgfx/reclining1.jpg

LEXX_Luthor
08-10-2005, 08:36 PM
No, raiid only invented the propellor hat, not the hat itself.

p1ngu666
08-10-2005, 08:48 PM
Originally posted by Schutze_S:
Maybe Percy Pilcher might have been the first person to use a propeller for air and might have even beat the Wright Bros had he not died in a gliding accident

"By the fall of 1899 Pilcher believed he had answered the questions of how to control a powered craft (a doubtful proposition) and his powered triplane resulted. That flying machine was to be powered by a 4 h.p. engine driving two propellers, one tractor and one pusher, not unlike the powered biplane configuration adopted by Augustus Herring in 1898. Aviation historian Philip Jarrett's reconstruction of the configuration of the powered Pilcher Triplane (ca. 1980 ) includes only a shaft-driven pusher propeller design, as on the postulated powered "Hawk." By the last day of September 1899, Pilcher's powered triplane was very nearly ready for flight (save, apparently, for mounting the engine), but on that day Pilcher was gliding in his "Hawk." His theretofore reliable "Hawk" suffered a structural failure, fell, and Pilcher died two days later. Pilcher's powered triplane was never flown."

Quote from http://www.flyingmachines.org

hmm what if http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

i cant remmber if this is correct, but i think his glider failed because of moisture, which made the fabric shrink and crush the structure http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif, also think he was unlucky in the crash http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

Tully__
08-10-2005, 09:23 PM
Originally posted by Billy_BigBoy:
BTW, is it a propeller or a propellor.

Is it color or colour
Is it exercise or exercize
...center or centre
...honour or honor

I believe it varies geographically.

Billy_BigBoy
08-11-2005, 12:48 AM
Originally posted by Tully__:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Billy_BigBoy:
BTW, is it a propeller or a propellor.

Is it color or colour
Is it exercise or exercize
...center or centre
...honour or honor

I believe it varies geographically. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I guess you're right. English is not my native language, so sometimes such differences puzzle me.

Back to the topic, some bacteria seems to use the propeller (or propellor http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif) like motor , the so called flagellum, to swimm.

effte
08-11-2005, 01:35 AM
Jane's Aviation Dictionary only list propeller, last time I checked. Propellor is a correct term, but old fashioned and mainly stemming from the maritime world. I'm an aviation professional, and I only ever see "propellor" used in forums on the net - never at work. That should tell you something. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

The propeller as an aircraft propulsion device was a well publicized invention a long time before the Wright brothers put it on their flyer. Many people had done research on airfoils prior to the Wrights.

The Wright brother€s were no fools and took a very scientific approach. This included doing lots of background reading. They were very familiar with the work of Lilientahl and other aviation pioneers and built their work upon this knowledge, rather than foolhardingly starting from scratch.

Common to popular belief, garage tinkering rarely is what breaks new ground. Most of the garage inventors who actually create something new and useful also have a large library in which they probably spent more time than in the garage. The problem is that garages make better pictures in today€s image-based media, giving lots of people false impressions that hinder their progress.

A lot of the aviation mystics which frequent various aviation forums on the net, touting their latest ideas which according to themselves will revolutionize aviation, would do well to read the above paragraph a few times and take it to heart. The fact that a lot of groundbreaking ideas were first perceived as crazy does not mean that crazy ideas are often groundbreaking.

What the Wrights were amongst the first to do, as far as propellers go, was to build a wind tunnel research the aerodynamic properties of airfoils intended for propulsion, which enabled them to build a more efficient propeller than many of their fellow powered flight pioneers. With the help of their very skilled mechanic, Charles Taylor, whose work was crucial to their success but who never received any real credit, they built an engine with a for the time high power to weight ratio. The efficient propeller and this engine combined was what made the Flyer fly when other aircraft stayed on the ground.

John Ericsson, famous for designing the Monitor battleship, got US patent #588 for a screw propeller on February 1st, 1838.

Friendly_flyer
08-11-2005, 02:38 AM
I thought Gustav Wißkopf was the first man to do a powered flight, in which case the airscrew must have been well known around the turn of the century (at least two groups independently using the same concept). I€m not an historian though, so I might be wrong.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gustave_Whitehead

The flagellum of certain bacteria are the only known axel-like device in the whole Empire of living organisms. A lot of other €œrod in a socket€-structures exits, but the bacterial one is the only one with continuously one-way revolution. The small size of bacteria allows nutrient to be passed to the flagellum by diffusion alone, enabling the bacteria to evolve this strange mechanism.

Aaron_GT
08-11-2005, 02:55 AM
Maybe Percy Pilcher might have been the first person to use a propeller for air and might have even beat the Wright Bros had he not died in a gliding accident

And he was only continuing his gliding flights because he was waiting for delivery of the engine (from memory 4hp) that he had ordered.

With regard to the helicopter top toys, similar things have been found in ancient Egyptian tombs, so they go back at 3000 years. The best guess is that these were inspired by seeds from trees (e.g. Sycamore) that corkscrew down.

John_Stag
08-11-2005, 04:18 AM
Originally posted by Billy_BigBoy:
Sooo...
This Sir Francis Pettit Smith was a fraud http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif

BTW, is it a propeller or a propellor.

Airscrew.

vanjast
08-12-2005, 12:36 AM
Probably some Propellor-Head... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

LEXX_Luthor
08-12-2005, 06:18 PM
Good read effte.

effte::
The propeller as an aircraft propulsion device was a well publicized invention a long time before the Wright brothers put it on their flyer. Many people had done research on airfoils prior to the Wrights.

The Wright brother€s were no fools and took a very scientific approach. This included doing lots of background reading. They were very familiar with the work of Lilientahl and other aviation pioneers and built their work upon this knowledge, rather than foolhardingly starting from scratch.

Common to popular belief, garage tinkering rarely is what breaks new ground. Most of the garage inventors who actually create something new and useful also have a large library in which they probably spent more time than in the garage. The problem is that garages make better pictures in today€s image-based media, giving lots of people false impressions that hinder their progress.

A lot of the aviation mystics which frequent various aviation forums on the net, touting their latest ideas which according to themselves will revolutionize aviation, would do well to read the above paragraph a few times and take it to heart. The fact that a lot of groundbreaking ideas were first perceived as crazy does not mean that crazy ideas are often groundbreaking.

What the Wrights were amongst the first to do, as far as propellers go, was to build a wind tunnel research the aerodynamic properties of airfoils intended for propulsion, which enabled them to build a more efficient propeller than many of their fellow powered flight pioneers. With the help of their very skilled mechanic, Charles Taylor, whose work was crucial to their success but who never received any real credit, they built an engine with a for the time high power to weight ratio. The efficient propeller and this engine combined was what made the Flyer fly when other aircraft stayed on the ground.

John Ericsson, famous for designing the Monitor battleship, got US patent #588 for a screw propeller on February 1st, 1838.

Pirschjaeger
08-13-2005, 05:54 AM
Helicopter flight was probably the first type of flight envisioned by man. The idea dates back to ancient China, where children played with homemade tops of slightly twisted feathers attached to the end of a stick. They would rapidly spin the stick between their hands to generate lift and then release the top into free flight.

Doesn't this constitute a propeller?

Also, for the spelling question, both are correct. One is British spelling while the other is American. In this case, I prefer the way the Americans have changed the spelling to something more logical.

With this spelling change the meaning becomes more clear. If the word ends in "or" it indicates that the noun is a person. If it ends in "er" it indicates it is a machine. Of course it is not consistant simply due to the fact that this is a long term change and we are in the middle of it. It is fairly consistant with newer and/or, 3 or more syllable(non-compund) terms.

Language evolves and the common complaint from the Brits about the American bastardization of English is somewhat small compared with the many changes the Brits themselves have made.

Argot, save the mob, evolves I trow. (Yes, it's English)http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

Fritz