Study of the supersonic propeller

Fabri, Jean., Siestrunck, Raymond.

In this paper a propeller having all sections operating at supersonic speeds is designated a supersonic propeller regardless of flight speed. Analyses assume subsonic flight speeds but very high rotational speeds. A very elementary analysis of the efficiency of a jet-propeller system is presented. A propeller analysis based on conventional vortex blade element theory is presented and reduced to a single point method which leads to an expression for optimum advance ratio in terms of hub-tip diameter ratio and airfoil fineness ratio. An expression for propeller efficiency in terms of advance ratio, hub-tip diameter ratio, and airfoil thickness ratio is also presented. Use is made of theoretical airfoil characteristics at supersonic speeds. A study of blade section interference, blade shock and expansion fields, at supersonic section speeds is presented. An example taken indicates that an efficiency of seventy percent can be obtained with a propeller having a tip Mach number of 2.3.

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