WhirlWind Propellers Airboat Design Process

Airboat propeller discussion.
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WhirlWindProps
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WhirlWind Propellers Airboat Design Process

Post by WhirlWindProps »

Hi Everyone,
Just sharing some insight on how we do some design and analysis on our airboat propellers. WhirlWind Propellers is an Aviation AND Airboat company in San Diego, so we're open for a chat while the East-Coast Airboaters are finishing dinner! We do lots of detailed design work, performance analysis, structural analysis, and in-house CNC machining to create the ideal aerodynamic geometry for the carbon fiber propellers you put on your airboat!
Here are some pictures of Finite Element Analysis on a star fish...
black background, CF and Torque only.png
oh uh, I mean on a 5-Bladed 85" Carbon Max Super Wide Propeller!

Finite element analysis is a way to investigate the stresses throughout any structural component. We create the 3D model and assign material properties to each component of the propeller. Then use sophisticated software to approximate the stress at each point based on the Horsepower, Torque, and Aerodynamic loads being applied to the propeller. In these pictures, red represents high stress and blue/purple represent low stress, we use this data to ensure that your propeller can last forever even under the highest loads that are constantly applied by your engine.

You can boat around with confidence knowing that your airboat prop was designed and manufactured with the same attention to detail as one that would be flying around with someone's life depending on it! An aerospace-grade aluminum hub with carbon fiber blades and an electroformed nickel leading edge makes for one high quality propeller!
cut into hub.png
close up.png

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ARMYCOUNTRY43
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Re: WhirlWind Propellers Airboat Design Process

Post by ARMYCOUNTRY43 »

👍👍
The trite saying that honesty is the best policy has met with the just criticism that honesty is not policy. The real honest man is honest from conviction of what is right, not from policy. GEN. ROBERT E. LEE :rebel:

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digginfool
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Re: WhirlWind Propellers Airboat Design Process

Post by digginfool »

Does your analysis provide information on blade flex? If so, how closely do the analyses meet real world measurements? Just a dumb CE wondering out loud.
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WhirlWindProps
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Re: WhirlWind Propellers Airboat Design Process

Post by WhirlWindProps »

Yes, the blade flex (deflection) is calculated in the analysis; but I'm not going to be the one holding a ruler up next to a spinning propeller! We can verify some simple cases like clamping the hub and bending the blade with a known force, but for real on-the-engine testing we use strain gauges to measure the strain at a few points on the blade and compare that to the strain predicted in our analysis.

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Prototype
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Re: WhirlWind Propellers Airboat Design Process

Post by Prototype »

Why do the blades look different widths in the first pic and is the heat correct? Trailing edge stays hotter after the run?

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OneBFC
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Re: WhirlWind Propellers Airboat Design Process

Post by OneBFC »

Thats not "heat". That is how the software they are using for FEA or CFDA shows either the stress map in the material / part or the displacement (think "flexing" or bending) of that material at a given load condition.
-Russ
-----------------------------------
The only thing stopping you is FEAR
400+hp Ecotec, 12x7.6 DBDO, 80" 3B Maximus, 2.3 OX,85+mph, water = purely optional
Life begins at 2 BAR, Just a good ole boy

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