The effect of compressibility on eight full-scale propellers operating in the take-off and climbing range

Biermann, David Hartman, Edwin P

Tests were made of eight full-scale propellers of different shape at various tip speeds up to about 1,000 feet per second. The range of blade-angle settings investigated was from 10 degrees to 30 degrees at the 0.75 radius. The results indicate that a loss in propulsive efficiency occurred at tip speeds from 0.5 to 0.7 the velocity of sound for the take-off and climbing conditions. As the tip speed increased beyond these critical values, the loss rapidly increased and amounted, in some instances, to more than 20 percent of the thrust power for tip-speed values of 0.8 the speed of sound. In general, as the blade-angle setting was increased, the loss started to occur at lower tip speeds. The maximum loss for a given tip speed occurred at a blade-angle setting of about 20 degrees for the take-off and 25 degrees for the climbing condition. A simplified method for correcting propellers for the effect of compressibility is given in an appendix.

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