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Thread: Airmaster electric constant speed props

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    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Airmaster electric constant speed props

    I recently found this Airmaster electrically operated and governed constant speed prop.
    https://www.airmasterpropellers.com/
    It uses whirlwind propeller blades on which the pitch is controlled by an electric motor. The controller can operate the blade angle manually or can function as a constant speed.

    Recently there has been much discussion of using the Whirlwind light weight ground adjustable prop. This seems like a very nice upgrade by being able to control the blade angle in flight. The big advantage is that you don't need to cut a hole in the firewall for a governor and your engine doesn't need to be set up to operate a constant speed prop.
    N1PA
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    If I had a slick little small tired speedster that flew off prepared runways I'd have one already. Other then the weight and the cost I have not heard a bad thing about them.

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    I spoke with them at OSH a few years back, I like them, the people and the product. Issue for us is they do not have product for our "big" engines.
    There market is Rotax and Jabiru. They utilize a wide assortment of blades from around the world, some of which look very interesting and forward thinking.
    At that time they had no interest in developing a larger hub for our "Big" engines.

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    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    I contacted Whirlwind Aviation wondering if they would be able to adapt this electric system to their 200G prop. They are not interested though they did acknowledge that their west coast division does supply the prop blades.
    N1PA

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    I would love to see an alternative way to control the Ohio props since I tend to wander out to "alternative drive" combinations which do not lend themselves to hydraulic control.

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    The pitch on the 200G prop is changed with an allen wrench turning a screw in the center of the hub face plate. It seems that it would be relatively easy to mount an electric motor with a planetary drive using the face plate attachment screws. The output could be a hex drive which just plugs into the existing adjustment screw.

    It seems that I'm always coming up with these ideas with no knowledge of how to source the parts.
    N1PA
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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    I recently found this Airmaster electrically operated and governed constant speed prop.
    https://www.airmasterpropellers.com/
    It uses whirlwind propeller blades on which the pitch is controlled by an electric motor. The controller can operate the blade angle manually or can function as a constant speed.

    Recently there has been much discussion of using the Whirlwind light weight ground adjustable prop. This seems like a very nice upgrade by being able to control the blade angle in flight. The big advantage is that you don't need to cut a hole in the firewall for a governor and your engine doesn't need to be set up to operate a constant speed prop.
    Interesting that the whole setup is about the same weight as my 1A9075/35.Thanks for posting Pete.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    The pitch on the 200G prop is changed with an allen wrench turning a screw in the center of the hub face plate. It seems that it would be relatively easy to mount an electric motor with a planetary drive using the face plate attachment screws. The output could be a hex drive which just plugs into the existing adjustment screw.

    It seems that I'm always coming up with these ideas with no knowledge of how to source the parts.
    I have been curious if a push-pull rod could come out the back of that prop?

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    Quote Originally Posted by willyb View Post
    Interesting that the whole setup is about the same weight as my 1A9075/35.Thanks for posting Pete.
    Most all the weight is in the hub, the rotating mass in all their props is very light.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CharlieN View Post
    I have been curious if a push-pull rod could come out the back of that prop?
    It would have to come out of the front then transfer outside of the hub. If it came out of the back it would find interference with the crankshaft flange.
    N1PA

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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    It would have to come out of the front then transfer outside of the hub. If it came out of the back it would find interference with the crankshaft flange.
    I am looking at working with gear or belt reduction units which allow for "through hub".

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    A friend had two new props I think made by Sensenicch that had a mechanical pitch change mechanism.They used a swash plate set-up controlled by gears and hand crank in the cabin.Pretty neat idea.Wish I had one just to hang on the wall.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CharlieN View Post
    I am looking at working with gear or belt reduction units which allow for "through hub".
    Hmmm? That may have possibilities. Perhaps reversing the adjustment screw having it come out where the oil hole for the constant speed is located.
    N1PA

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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    Hmmm? That may have possibilities. Perhaps reversing the adjustment screw having it come out where the oil hole for the constant speed is located.
    That is where my mind is at but not having any "hands on" with their hub there are allot of unknowns to me. The mechanism I would envision would be a push-pull rod back to a leaver linkage. Decades ago I built one with a bowden cable back to the panel, crude but was reliable. I would now look at working with a stepper motor and electronics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by willyb View Post
    A friend had two new props I think made by Sensenicch that had a mechanical pitch change mechanism.They used a swash plate set-up controlled by gears and hand crank in the cabin.Pretty neat idea.Wish I had one just to hang on the wall.
    That sounds like a Beech Roby prop that was used on the 85 hp Swift.
    N1PA

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    Quote Originally Posted by CharlieN View Post
    I would now look at working with a stepper motor and electronics.
    Does a stepper motor have high torque capabilities? It could be used on the front if it could lock the adjustment screw from rotating in flight. In order for this idea to work the existing safety locking screw would have to be removed.
    N1PA

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    They can lock either mechanically or electrically.
    I would not use the original adjustment screw since it's treads are not designed for repetitive motion the way an Acme tread or a ball screw allows.
    And yes, high torque either direct or through a gear reduction. Consider any CNC machine, mill, router or any machine. These are all driven by stepper motors.

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    Thanks Charlie, It would not be as simple as just bolting a device on the outside. It would require some internal modifications as well. I guess that I would be better off leaving it alone unless someone else comes up with a modification kit. Then I would be very interested.

    I get a bit nervous when messing around with props as even a small failure can be disastrous.
    Last edited by skywagon8a; 03-14-2019 at 08:12 AM.
    N1PA

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    It would essentially be all the internals the hydraulic has but with electric actuation. But this entails the electrics going back to the contact assemblies on the back of the prop of engine flywheel.
    On your prop the internals are essentially already there, it is the rest of the parts that are not trivial to make sure they are reliable.

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    The modern composite blades the hub is designed to use ARE super light, though none lighter then the 78" 2 blade Prince I currently use on my RANS S7-S. I've weighed many of them. Thus the weight gain for me is hard to swallow. Also, sure as hell, if I opted for one, my current multi year run of NOT having a prop strike would end! For STOL ops I don't see the advantage, getting out isn't the problem, once you get in. At least that's how it is for me and my bird, same with SC's I'm pretty sure.

    I'd be interested to talk with some real life users as to how, and if, their fuel burn goes up with the increased speed it could offer. I just remembered, I'm flying under the LSA regs these days, so can't have one anyway, problem solved. I just saved a bunch of money and weight. The BETA and full feathering option is what really intrigues me.
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    I emailed Airmaster today. They stated they are trying to have one out for an 0-360 around OshKosh. It will take Whirlwind or Sensenich blades.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoonahcub View Post
    I emailed Airmaster today. They stated they are trying to have one out for an 0-360 around OshKosh. It will take Whirlwind or Sensenich blades.
    Sent from my iPhone using SuperCub.Org
    Well that will be damn cool.
    As a side not I have not heard much about Sensenich's larger ground adjustable prop for the 320&360. They had it on display a few years back but were not ready yet, still had balance work to do. Balance work might have been blade flex or something.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CharlieN View Post
    Well that will be damn cool.
    As a side not I have not heard much about Sensenich's larger ground adjustable prop for the 320&360. They had it on display a few years back but were not ready yet, still had balance work to do. Balance work might have been blade flex or something.
    I believe have an O-320 two blade and a three blade for something in the 360? Hp range. My impression is they don’t do much marketing?


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    Quote Originally Posted by CharlieN View Post
    Well that will be damn cool.
    As a side not I have not heard much about Sensenich's larger ground adjustable prop for the 320&360. They had it on display a few years back but were not ready yet, still had balance work to do. Balance work might have been blade flex or something.
    My brother has one on his 0320 RV

    Glenn
    "Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you!"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoonahcub View Post
    I emailed Airmaster today. They stated they are trying to have one out for an 0-360 around OshKosh. It will take Whirlwind or Sensenich blades.
    I emailed them too and this is their reply.

    "We are developing a version of our AP7 hub series that will be able to use the Whirlwind 200G blade.

    I expect we will be able to show this around August 2019 probably during Oshkosh."
    N1PA
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