Dowty-Rotol R130 Propeller

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This object is on display in the Boeing Aviation Hangar at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

Boeing Aviation Hangar

Rotol introduced the R130 propeller for the Vickers Viscount airliner in 1954. The R130’s electrically-actuated hub mechanism and square-tipped aluminum alloy blades were a departure from Rotol’s previous hydraulic and composite designs of World War II. The thin, rectangular blades were designed to absorb high energy and efficiently turn it into thrust while offsetting compressibility losses. The electric constant-speed mechanism dated back to when Rotol licensed the American Curtiss Electric design in 1937.

Four R130 propellers and Rolls-Royce Dart Mk. 510 turboprop engines powered the 700D and 800 series of the Vickers Viscount, the first turboprop airliner to enter passenger service, beginning with British European Airways and eventually serving airlines throughout the world. Rotol’s parent companies, Rolls-Royce and Bristol, sold Rotol to the Dowty Group in 1958.