VDM Propeller, Variable-Pitch, Three-Blade, Metal


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:

Vereinigte Deutsche Metallwerke, or United German Metalworks, was a society of medium-sized family firms formed in 1930. One of VDM’s member companies, the Heddernheimer Metal Company, initiated the development of metal propellers in Germany by introducing a ground-adjustable propeller in the late 1920s, similar in construction to the American Standard Steel propeller.

VDM’s Dr. Hans Ebert later developed an ingenious method of pitch actuation using a reversible electric motor mounted on the engine crankcase. Actuation was via a flexible shaft connected to a small primary drive reduction gearbox, which was in turn attached to a large annular gearbox fitted to the rear of the propeller hub.

VDM constant-speed propellers appeared during the spring of 1937, and full-scale production was up and running a year later. VDM became the leading German manufacturer of metal propellers before and during World War II, utilized by approximately 90 percent of the Luftwaffe's front-line aircraft.

Collection Item Long Description:

Inventory Number


Physical Description

  • Type: Three-Blade, Variable-Pitch, Metal
  • Diameter: 339.1 cm (133.5 in.)
  • Chord: 31.8 cm (12.5 in.)
  • Engine Application: Unknown

Credit Line

Transferred from the U.S. Air Force

Country of Origin



  • Steel
  • Aluminum
  • Cadmium Plating
  • Preservative Coating


  • Rotor/Propeller: 157.5 x 339.1 x 31.8 x 55.9 x 29.2 x 14cm (62 in. x 11 ft. 1 1/2 in. x 12 1/2 in. x 22 in. x 11 1/2 in. x 5 1/2 in.)
  • Storage: 197.2 x 60 x 45.4cm (77 5/8 x 23 5/8 x 17 7/8 in.)

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum


PROPULSION-Propellers & Impellers

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