Variable Pitch Propellers

What are variable aircraft pitch propellers, how do they work and how can they help me?

Lancair Lycoming 0-320 SP40a close

To reduce a long technical discussion to a few lines I will use the analogy of a car with an automatic transmission.

If I give you a car with an automatic transmission and lock it into first gear and tell you to drive to the shops and back your report is likely to be ” It initially accelerated well but then the engine just screamed along as I drove to the shops at a slower pace than normal. I can’t imagine the high revs are good for the engine”

I then lock the transmission in top gear and send you back to the shops again. On your return your report will likely be ” The take off from the lights was dreadfully slow and it almost didn’t make it up the hill but it cruised well on the motorway.”

A fixed pitch prop will mimic those scenarios giving you a narrow range of actually efficiency that you would never consider acceptable in your car so why accept it in your aircraft?

The variable pitch propeller allows you to operate like an automatic where you select which gear it is in. the addition of a constant speed controller then makes that same variable pitch propeller operate the way a automatic does in that it selects the right pitch ( same as gearing in the auto ) to achieve the best available in each speed range.

See the range of SprintAero variable pitch propellers.


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