1976-02-01

Feasibility Study of Propeller Design for General Aviation by Numerical Optimization 760478

A practical method for propeller design using optimization techniques is presented. The propeller aerodynamics model incorporates blade element, momentum and vortex theories, and the optimization technique is based on a combination of the method of feasible directions and the conjugate-gradient method. A realistic design problem is formulated to maximize the propeller performance in terms of the distribution of thickness, camber, pitch and solidity along the blade, subject to simple structural and power constraints. The application of this method for a general aviation propeller is illustrated by a computed example. The results presented are considered preliminary and are intended only to illustrate this technique. A discussion of the present aerodynamic model for the blade elements is included, and extensions to more elaborate aerodynamic models are considered.

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