PROP_DESIGN is open source, public domain, aircraft propeller design software. PROP_DESIGN can also be used to design products similar to aircraft propellers:

  • Axial Flow Fans
  • Electric Ducted Fans - EDFs
  • Geared Turbofans - GTFs
  • Open Rotors
  • Propfans
  • Turbofans
  • Ultra-High Bypass Engines - UHBs
  • Unducted Fans - UDFs

Besides traditional aircraft, PROP_DESIGN can also aid the design of:

  • Airboats
  • Computers
  • Drones
  • Hovercraft
  • HVAC Systems
  • Radio Controlled Toys - RC Toys
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles - UAVs
  • Vertical Takeoff and Landing Aircraft - VTOL Aircraft

PROP_DESIGN allows for the design of unducted or ducted aircraft propellers with straight or swept blades and constant or elliptical chord distributions. PROP_DESIGN can be used for all altitudes covered by the U.S. Standard Atmosphere of 1976. Efficiencies of approx. 90% are easily attained, even for effective velocities as high as Mach .8. Below are some other unique features of PROP_DESIGN:

  • Extremely precise; less than .001% error in the two variables that it iterates upon
  • Requires few computational resources (i.e. minimal CPU, memory, and storage requirements)
  • Executes quickly, even on mobile computing devices such as; laptops, netbooks, and tablets
  • Computes the static condition, the case where there is no forward motion of the propeller
  • Automatically determines the optimum propeller geometry for any operating condition that a solution exists
  • Can be used with designs that incorporate stators or counter-rotation
  • Designed from the ground up to make comparing two different aircraft propellers or two different operating conditions easy
  • Creates aircraft propeller performance maps for fixed pitch and constant speed propellers
  • Aids the creation of hot shape aircraft propeller/fan CAD software models
  • Allows you to find the optimum Fortran compiler options for your CPU
  • PROP_DESIGN was released as open source, public domain software, so you are completely free to do whatever you like with it

Note:

 

In the past, aircraft propellers have also been called airscrews. This is due to the fact that, aircraft propellers work their way through air, in a manner similar to how screws work their way through solids. This does not help to solve the mathematics of aircraft propeller design and analysis. However, it is a simple way of understanding how aircraft propellers function.