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Senior highschool thesis on Propeller Propulsion

by Cyrus

Hi! I'm currently a grade 12 STEM student and my research title was approved but my methodology was not. I plan to do an evaluation of the performance of different airplane propellers particularly those with 2 blades,3 blades and 4 blades.

I plan to gather data using a prototype balsa wood rubberband plane. Just a small scale. Then it would be tied to a some kind of weight so that it's motion would be circular. I proposed the data gathering using the average speed formula with 2pi(radius)/T.

But my teacher disagreed with it.

Do you know any other equations in which i could test it's efficiency? Or physical equations? Because i proposed that the trial with the farthest distance and lesser time would yield the most efficient one. Please help!!

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Static thrust test
by: rcdude07

Unless you have a reliable speedometer, speed could be considered subjective.

There's also more to a prop than speed. Since produce more thrust and spin slower. The number of blades also impacts effeicency. Props have 2 numbers, pitch and diameter. You change one, you must change the other.

Also in your method the rubber band will be a variable the changes every. An electric motor would be more reliable and consistent.

You can tie to a fishing scale to get static thrust measurement.

Do you still have the results?
by: Anonymous

I don't know how old this is, but I'm also working on a project for a STEM school. I am trying to select a propeller for my project. Do you happen to have the results from your experiment? I don't have a lot of power to work with and need to get the most bang for my buck.

Please email me at if you can offer any help.

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