An investigation has been made utilizing a three-blade, 10-foot- diameter, supersonic-ty-pe propeller to determine propeller flutter characteristics. The particular flutter characteristics of interest were (1) the effect of stall flutter on a propeller operating in positive and negative thrust, (2) the effect of stall flutter on a propeller operating with the thrust axis inclined, and (3) the variation of vibratory blade shear stresses as the stall flutter boundary is penetrated and exceeded. Thrust and power measurements were made for all test conditions. Wake and inflow surveys were made when appropriate, to define the thrust and torque distributions and the magnitude of the inflow velocity. Stress measurements were made simultaneously to obtain the propeller flutter and bending response. It was found when operating both in the positive and negative thrust regions that, for most cases after the onset of flutter, the magnitude of the flutter stresses at first increased rapidly with section blade angle P, after which further increases in 0 resulted in only a moderate increase or a reduction in stress. Thrust-axis inclination up to the limit of the tests (angle of attack of 15 deg and dynamic pressure of 40 psf) appeared to have no effect on stall flutter. The stall flutter stresses were found to be directly associated with the section thrust characteristics of the blades. The onset of flutter was found to occur simultaneously with the divergence of the section thrust variation with blade angle from linearity for stations outboard of the blade 0.8-radius station. The maximum flutter stresses appeared to be a function of the maximum section thrust obtained at or in the vicinity of the blade 0.8-radius station. In an attempt to correlate two-dimensional airfoil data with three-dimensional data to predict the stall angle of attack (divergence of the section thrust) of the blade sections, it was found that no consistent correlation could be obtained. Also, a knowledge of the inflow conditions appeared to be insufficient to account for differences in airfoil characteristics between the two-dimensional and the three-dimensional cases.
Aircraft Stability and Control