How To Make A Propeller In Six Days

Business: Culver Props specializes in the production of custom, fixed, double-blade, impeller blades. Lewis builds about 120 propellers a year.Road: Lewis was taught by her grandfather, a mechanical engineer. “I worked here while in college,” says Lewis, “doing things other people don’t want to do, like answering the phone. My grandfather taught me everything when we were together, and I’ve been doing this for 10 years now. He passed away in 2016, so I continued the business — me and my 84-year-old grandmother who came in every day and helped me. We specialize in larger diameter propellers, many replicas of World War I. That’s our great point. “Reading: how to create a propellarHow long does it take to master the skill? Lewis said: “About two years. “Actually learning how to make a propeller is not that difficult. But learning how to find the right pitch and right diameter for different propellers is hard. Because the combination of engines and aircraft is exponential. You can have one engine on 100 different planes and they all have different airspeeds. Pilots have different expectations for their aircraft and what they need it to do. The World War I replicas were all intended to make the prop exactly the same as the original. World War I aircraft with huge props. Sometimes customers may be using modern tools and they still want that big backing. Sometimes I can make it happen, and sometimes I can’t. “Read more: How to make moneyWhat information do you need before you can craft a propeller? “Customers give me their engine and aircraft specs,” says Lewis, “and I take their rpm and cruising mph to give me an appropriate pitch. Then I consider the tip speed, and widen the diameter of the propeller as much as I can, so that at maximum rpm the propeller does not exceed 850 feet/second at head speed. At about 800 feet/second it starts to get noisy, and at around 900 you start to lose efficiency.”Typical dates: On Day 1, each propeller takes a minimum of six days to make: “On Day 1, I pick the ceiling boards, pick a pattern, and glue my planks into a block,” says Lewis. “On Day 2, I carve the propeller pattern on my grooving lathe. On day 3, I sanded and leveled the propeller. It was then coated with a coat of varnish every day for three days.” Lewis sanding the hub on a propeller — Day 3 of the mission — for the Lycoming engine. (Grant Smith)The best thing about the job: “No two jobs are alike. Last year I made a propeller for a 40 hp Aerolite 103 ultralight aircraft and also a propeller for a 300 hp Bristol Fighter. “Read more: How to remove Tavanero.infoMost challenging job to date: “Propeller for the F.2 Bristol Fighter,” says Lewis. “It has a center thickness of 6 inches and a diameter of 90 inches. I just shipped it yesterday; I cried a little when it left! I spent a year on it, and created the model from scratch. It took me months of working with the plane’s owner to make sure every detail was right.” Do you know many other propeller manufacturers? “Social media has connected me with some truly incredible producers from around the world,” says Lewis. “There are so few of us around me that I feel an instant friendship when I meet someone in business.”How does someone get into the business? “Apprenticeship,” says Lewis. “Making the propeller is part; the other is a good understanding of the engines and aircraft on which the propellers work. Any education related to aircraft and aircraft engines is beneficial”.Dream plane you want to work on? Lewis said: “An Albatros D.Va. “I loved that plane, absolutely loved it.” Read more: how to make rasmalai with milk powder | Top Q&A

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