Olmsted Model FRT Tractor Propeller, fixed-pitch, two-blade, wood


Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Collection Item Summary:

Charles M. Olmsted, a European trained physicist from Upstate New York, had an interest in flight from his early years. His success with gliders in the 1890's led to the formation of the Buffalo-Pitts-Olmsted Syndicate in 1910 to develop aircraft. Following failure of the related agricultural equipment manufacturing company, Olmsted formed the CMO Physical Laboratory, continuing to manufacture and sell his ultra-efficient propellers. Olmsted designs differed from other propellers, having a large surface near the blade base and very little surface at the tip. Olmsted's propellers represented a fundamental difference in design philosophy that has not been duplicated by any other designer.

This artifact is a right-turning tractor propeller designed in 1916 for the famous World War I Curtiss JN-4 "Jenny" training aircraft. However, it was not deemed by the Army to be any better than the ordinary type for tractor purposes and, therefore, not mass produced.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum


Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum


Charles M Olmsted


Credit Line

Found in collection


  • Steel
  • Wood
  • Leather
  • Paint
  • Varnish


Rotor/Propeller: 292.1 × 45.7 × 22.9 × 37 × 3.5cm (9 ft. 7 in. × 1 ft. 6 in. × 9 in. × 1 ft. 2 9/16 in. × 1 3/8 in.)

Country of Origin

United States of America



Physical Description

  • Type: Two-blade, fixed-pitch, maple.
  • Diameter: 292 cm (115 in.)
  • Chord: 46 cm (18 in.)
  • Engine Application: Curtiss OX-5, V-8, liquid cooled, 75 kw (100 hp)


PROPULSION-Propellers & Impellers

Inventory Number


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