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The five-blade Rotol propeller, which came to be associated with a Griffon-powered Spitfire, was a British solution to the problem of turning an ever-increasing ...

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The five-blade Rotol propeller, which came to be associated with a Griffon-powered Spitfire, was a British solution to the problem of turning an ever-increasing engine power into thrust. In comparison, the corresponding development in Germany led to the employment of broad-chord propeller blades rather than increasing their number, while the Americans simply opted for propellers of larger diameter fitted into entirely new airframes.

While the Rotol solution did the job, the increased weight of the five-blader also brought the propeller torque problems to their limit. The new propeller required the pilot to apply full opposite rudder on take-off, leaving a margin for corrections which, according to many, was too small for comfort.

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By Peter J. Forster  |  2015-01-01 at 11:26  |  permalink

1945 and 1946 must have been dangerous years for Spitfire pilots!! Lucky they fixed the problem with the contra-rotating propellor in 1947.

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