This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.
Collection Item Summary:
Thomas Dicks, an English émigré, founded the Dicks-Luttrell Propeller Company in 1918 with a Westinghouse co-worker. Reorganization by Pittsburgh entrepreneurs resulted in creation of the Standard Steel Propeller Company, which was eager to receive an Army contract for an early experimental controllable and reversible-pitch propeller. Collaboration with the Army's Engineering Division began in 1919. Mechanical hub design was attributed to Dicks, who received the assistance of the Army's Frank Caldwell, a leading propeller designer of the early 20th century.
This highly significant artifact; a predecessor to the modern variable-pitch propeller, was the first design to employ counterweights. Built for the Liberty engine and DeHavilland DH-4 aircraft, the Dicks-Caldwell design appeared satisfactory from the standpoint of mechanical engineering after considerable development, but its excessive weight made it prohibitive. Standard Steel abandoned the design of a variable-pitch mechanism in 1923 and continued its specialization in the construction of metal blades in direct cooperation with the Army.
Collection Item Long Description:
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- Type: Two-Blade, Ground Adjustable Pitch, Metal
- Diameter: 320 cm (126 in.)
- Chord: Unknown
- Engine Application: Liberty L-12, 300 kw (400 hp)
- Frank Walker Caldwell, United States of America, 1889 - 1974
- Thomas Andrew Dicks, United States of America, 1859 - 1944
Country of Origin
- 3-D (Propeller): 320 × 30.5 × 35.6cm, 70.3kg (10 ft. 6 in. × 1 ft. × 1 ft. 2 in., 155lb.)
- Storage (Aluminum Pallet): 351.8 × 121.9 × 129.5cm, 364.2kg (11 ft. 6 1/2 in. × 4 ft. × 4 ft. 3 in., 803lb.)