Tests of three-blade, adjustable-pitch counterrotating tandem model propellers, adjusted to absorb equal power at maximum efficiency of the combination, were made at Stanford University. The aerodynamic characteristics, for blade-angle settings of 15, 25, 35, 45, 55, and 65 degrees at 0.75R of the forward propeller and for diameters spacings of 8-1/2, 15 and 30% were compared with those of three-blade and six-blade propellers of the same blade form. It was found that, in order to realize the condition of equal power at maximum efficiency, the blade angles for the rear propeller must be generally less than for the forward propeller, the difference increasing the blade angle. The tests showed that, at maximum efficiency, the tandem propellers absorb about double the power of three-blade propellers and about 8% more power than six-blade propellers having the pitch of the forward propeller of the tandem combination. The maximum efficiency of the tandem propellers was found to be from 2-15% greater than for six-blade propellers, the difference varying directly with blade angle. It was also found that the maximum efficiency of the tandem propellers was greater than that of a three-blade propeller for blade angles at 0.75R of 25 degrees or more. The difference in maximum efficiency again varied directly with blade angle, being about 9% for 65 degrees at 0.75R.
Aircraft Propulsion and Power