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Time Line of the Aviation Propeller The aircraft propeller looks like a simple mechanism to the uneducated individual To the educated an aircraft propeller represents the highest sophistication in aerodynamics mechanical engineering and structural design The creation of the propeller can be traced back to Leonardo da Vinci Da Vincis helical screw helicopter is believed to be the ancestor of the air propeller and the helicopter rotor The first idea of a propulsive airscrew however belongs to JP Paucton a French mathematician Paucton envisioned a flying machine that had two airscrews one for propulsion and the other for sustaining flight The idea of using an airscrew for propulsion was utilized during the late 1700s to early 1800s Only after experimentation did the inventors conclude that more propulsive power could be obtained by merely straightening out the surface of the airscrew blades The basic propeller had evolved from the simple concepts of da Vinci and was slowly becoming an effective means of aerial propulsion To reach the next plateau of flight an increased knowledge of the propeller would be needed and the mysteries of the propeller and mechanical power would need to be solved Throughout the 19th century aviation pioneers explored and tinkered with the concepts of flight to design a viable airship Other experimenters who were convinced that man flight should have wings worked to establish basic principles in aerodynamics flight stability and control as well as propulsion Controlled mechanical flight came on August 9 1884 Charles Renard and AC Krebs flew the airship La France on a closed circuit from Chalais-Meudon to Villacoublay and back in 23 minutes The airship La France as powered by a 9 horsepower electric motor that drove a 23ft diameter propeller and reached a speed of 145 mph This flight was the birth of the dirigible a steerable lighter-than-air ship with adequate propulsion Another important
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