Propeller, controllable-pitch, two-blade, Standard Steel Propeller Co.


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:

Pittsburgh's Standard Steel Propeller Company was part of the metalworking community, with an original goal to manufacture steel, fixed-pitch propellers. Its chief engineer was Thomas A. Dicks, an English émigré with experience as a Westinghouse tool designer. Dicks and a coworker, James B. Luttrell, founded the Dicks-Luttrell Propeller Company in 1918 to experiment with fixed-pitch propellers with hollow-steel blades. Reorganization of the company by Pittsburgh entrepreneurs resulted in the creation of Standard Steel in 1919.

Eager to receive an army contract to construct an early controllable and reversible-pitch propeller, Dicks designed an actuated, controllable and reversible propeller similar to the Eustis and Hart design. Its innovation was a hollow steel blade which Dicks had developed with his own company. As the government's propeller specialist, Frank Caldwell of the Army's Engineering Division provided important assistance in the effort. Experimentation continued until 1923, when Caldwell and Dicks initially found both hollow and forged steel blades to be impractical.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum


  • Frank Walker Caldwell, United States of America, 1889 - 1974
  • Thomas Andrew Dicks, United States of America, 1859 - 1944

Credit Line

Found in collection. Donor unknown at this time. Found on NASM premises.


Overall: Steel, Preservative coating, Paper


  • 3-D (Hub and attached Blade): 186.1 × 16.5 × 27.9cm (6 ft. 1 1/4 in. × 6 1/2 in. × 11 in.)
  • 3-D (Blade): 151.8 × 19 × 15.2cm (4 ft. 11 3/4 in. × 7 1/2 in. × 6 in.)
  • 3-D (Ring): 5.4 × 5.4 × 3.8cm (2 1/8 × 2 1/8 × 1 1/2 in.)
  • Storage (Aluminum Pallet): 205.7 × 122.6 × 58.4cm (6 ft. 9 in. × 4 ft. 1/4 in. × 1 ft. 11 in.)

Country of Origin

United States of America



Physical Description

  • Type: Two-Blade, Controllable and Reversible Pitch, Metal.
  • Diameter: 318 cm (10 ft. 5in.)
  • Chord: 17.1 cm (6.75in.)
  • Engine Application: Unknown


PROPULSION-Propellers & Impellers

Inventory Number


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