A Good Pilot is Always Learning

Constant Speed Proop via mccauley.com

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2 Professor, what do you mean by a "constant speed" system? EDITOR'S NOTE: Don't let the professor's looks fool you. He knows his stuff. We mean a constant RPM system that permits the pilot to select the propeller – and engine – speed he wants for any situation, and then automatically maintain that RPM under varying conditions of airspeed and power. How do you control the RPM? We do it by varying the pitch of the propeller blades. In the sense that we're talking about it, the pitch is the angle of the blades with relation to the plane of the rotation. As the blade angle is reduced, the torque required to spin the propeller is reduced and, for any given power setting, the airspeed and RPM of the engine will tend to increase. Conversely, if the blade angle increases, the required torque increases. Then the engine and the propeller will tend to slow down. Thus, by varying the blade angle or pitch of the propeller, we can control the RPM.

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