The following post will describe the 5 main design constraints I intend to follow when making my wooden replica propeller. These constraints will serve to guide my project toward my desired outcome of creating a realistic retro replica propeller.
- The first constraint I plan to follow is the aesthetic of my project. I want to create a replica propeller similar to those found on old radial-engine aircraft. these aircraft were some of the first modern aircraft in the sense that they had a traditional cockpit and flight controls compared to the Wright-flyer. These aircraft featured beautiful bottle-noses containing monstrous radial engines. Mounted to these engines was almost always a beautiful wooden propeller. I want to bring the aesthetic that these aircraft embody into my home through replicating this style of prop.
- The second constraint I have on this project is the size. I would like to make the propeller as realistic as possible; this means making a propeller that is the same size as props that would go on actual aircraft. Due to the fact that I am going to display this inside I am choosing to replicate propellers on the smaller end of the size scale. The airplane I am pulling the size from is the DA20, which has about a 4 ft diameter prop.
- The third constraint I have is the color of the propeller. I enjoy the aesthetic of dark wood, so I am going to use a darker stain to bring out the grains of the wood. This will pair well with the end tip colors I plan to use (either silver and blue or black and red).
- I also plan to have the propeller be able to rotate. I plan to accomplish this through the use of press-fit skateboard bearings in the center shaft. The center shaft will be connected to a wooden disk painted the same color as the end-tips of the propeller.
- The last constraint I plan to follow is the addition of a metal “bolt plate” an example of this type of plate can be seen above; in real life these plates serve to distribute the tensile load of the bolts across the wood. This would be purely for show on my project, but I feel like the addition of this plate makes the prop more realistic and it adds a nice aesthetic.
“Stock Photo – Wood Aircraft Propeller and Radial Engine.” 123RF, www.123rf.com/photo_9454275_wood-aircraft-propeller-and-radial-engine.html.
“Wooden Propellers.” Sensenich Propellers, www.sensenich.com/recently-updated-instructions-wood-aircraft-propeller-installation/.
“Ultralight Aircraft Propeller.” Arrowprop, www.arrowprop.com/up.htm.
“Stock Photo – Airplanes Wooden Propeller.” 123RF, www.123rf.com/photo_3703556_airplanes-wooden-propeller.html.