Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

Review on Numerical and Experimental Research on Conventional and Unconventional Propeller Blade Design

Hairuniza Ahmed Kutty(1), Parvathy Rajendran(2*)

(1) School of Aerospace Engineering, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia
(2) School of Aerospace Engineering, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia
(*) Corresponding author



This paper reviews the research conducted on propeller blades based on the performance evaluation method and available design. The review includes the propeller blades used for aircrafts, unmanned aerial vehicles, marine vehicles and wind turbines, as the working principle remain the same, differing only in operating conditions. Both experimental and numerical methods were discussed to provide a reliable procedure to investigate the performance of propeller blades. In addition, the propeller blades design was discussed, including conventional and unconventional blade designs. Blade shape, chord length and twist angle are the basic parameters for optimization method on conventional design. Optimization managed to improve propeller performance at an impressive rate. Many designs are currently being developed allowing more possibilities for blade design advancement.
Copyright © 2017 Praise Worthy Prize - All rights reserved.


Propeller Blade; Wind Turbine; Marine Propeller; Numerical; Experimental

Full Text:



H. C. Watts, The design of screw propellers: with special reference to their adaptation for aircraft, First. Forgotten Books, 1920.

Q. R. Wald, “The aerodynamics of propellers,” Prog. Aerosp. Sci., vol. 42, no. 2, pp. 85–128, 2006.

F. Delp, Aircraft propellers and controls, First. Colorado: Aviation Maintenance Pub, 1979.

J. B. Brandt and M. S. Selig, “Propeller Performance Data at Low Reynolds Numbers,” 49th AIAA Aerosp. Sci. Meet., no. January, pp. 1–18, 2011.

R. W. Deters, G. K. Ananda Krishnan, and M. S. Selig, “Reynolds Number Effects on the Performance of Small-Scale Propellers,” in 32nd AIAA Applied Aerodynamics Conference, 2014, no. June, pp. 1–43.

K. W. Van Treuren, “Small-Scale Wind Turbine Testing in Wind Tunnels Under Low Reynolds Number Conditions,” J. Energy Resour. Technol., vol. 137, no. 5, p. 51208, 2015.

M. Drela, “XFOIL Design Code.” [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 02-Nov-2016].

J. B. Brandt, R. W. Deters, G. K. Ananda, and M. S. Selig, “UIUC Propeller Data Site.” [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 01-Nov-2016].

M. P. Merchant, “Propeller Performance Measurement for Low Reynolds Number Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Applications,” Wichita State University, 2004.

K. Asson and P. Dunn, “Compact dynamometer system that can accurately determine propeller performance,” J. Aircr., vol. 29, no. 1, pp. 8–9, 1992.

S. Subhas, “CFD Analysis of a Propeller Flow and Cavitation,” Int. J. Comput. Appl., vol. 55, no. 16, pp. 26–33, 2012.

M. Morgut and E. Nobile, “Influence of grid type and turbulence model on the numerical prediction of the flow around marine propellers working in uniform inflow,” Ocean Eng., vol. 42, pp. 26–34, 2012.

X. Wang and K. Walters, “Computational analysis of marine-propeller performance using transition-sensitive turbulence modeling,” J. Fluids Eng., vol. 134, no. 7, pp. 71107-1-71107–10, 2012.

Ã. Ernesto Benini, “Significance of blade element theory in performance prediction of marine propellers,” Ocean Eng., vol. 31, pp. 957–974, 2004.

J. H. Seo, D. M. Seol, J. H. Lee, and S. H. Rhee, “Flexible CFD meshing strategy for prediction of ship resistance and propulsion performance,” Int. J. Nav. Archit. Ocean Eng., vol. 2, no. 3, pp. 139–145, 2010.

F. W. Hong and S. T. Dong, “Numerical analysis for circulation distribution of propeller blade,” J. Hydrodyn., vol. 22, no. 4, pp. 488–493, 2010.

W. Tian, B. Song, J. H. Van Zwieten, and P. Pyakurel, “Computational fluid dynamics prediction of a modified savonius wind turbine with novel blade shapes,” Energies, vol. 8, no. 8, pp. 7915–7929, 2015.

A. Califano and S. Steen, “Numerical simulations of a fully submerged propeller subject to ventilation,” Ocean Eng., vol. 38, no. 14–15, pp. 1582–1599, 2011.

G. Chen, B. Chen, P. Li, P. Bai, and C. Ji, “Numerical Simulation Study on Propeller Slipstream Interference of High Altitude Long Endurance Unmanned Air Vehicle,” Procedia Eng., vol. 99, pp. 361–367, 2015.

L. Lu, G. Pan, and P. K. Sahoo, “CFD prediction and simulation of a pumpjet propulsor,” Int. J. Nav. Archit. Ocean Eng., vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 110–116, 2016.

J. Morgado, M. Â. R. Silvestre, and J. C. Páscoa, “Validation of New Formulations for Propeller Analysis,” J. Propuls. Power, vol. 31, no. 1, pp. 467–477, 2015.

J. Morgado, M. A. R. Silvestre, and J. C. Páscoa, “A comparison of post-stall models extended for propeller performance prediction,” Aircr. Eng. Aerosp. Technol., vol. 88, no. 4, pp. 540–549, 2016.

J. Morgado, M. Abdollahzadeh, M. a. R. Silvestre, and J. C. Páscoa, “High altitude propeller design and analysis,” Aerosp. Sci. Technol., vol. 45, pp. 398–407, 2015.

Sudarsono, Purwanto, and J. Wahyuadi, “Optimization Design of Airfoil Propellers of Modified NACA 4415 Using Computational Fluids Dynamics,” Adv. Mater. Res., vol. 0, pp. 403–407, 2013.

H. Il Kwon, J. Y. You, and O. J. Kwon, “Enhancement of wind turbine aerodynamic performance by a numerical optimization technique,” J. Mech. Sci. Technol., vol. 26, no. 2, pp. 455–462, 2012.

J. Cho and S. C. Lee, “Propeller blade shape of optimization for efficiency improvement,” Comput. Fluids, vol. 27, no. 3, pp. 407–419, 1998.

L. K. Chang, “The theoretical performance of high efficiency propellers,” Purdue University , W. Lafayatte, IN, 1980.

S. D’Angelo, F. Berardi, and E. Minisci, “Aerodynamic performances of propellers with parametric considerations on the optimal design,” Aeronaut. J., vol. 106, no. 1060, pp. 313–320, 2002.

S. Derakhshan, A. Tavaziani, and N. Kasaeian, “Numerical Shape Optimization of a Wind Turbine Blades Using Artificial Bee Colony Algorithm,” J. Energy Resour. Technol., vol. 137, no. 5, p. 51210, 2015.

H.-I. Kwon, S. Yi, and S. Choi, “Design of Efficient Propellers Using Variable-Fidelity Aerodynamic Analysis and Multilevel Optimization,” J. Propuls. Power, vol. 31, no. 4, pp. 1057–1072, 2015.

R. Taheri and K. Mazaheri, “Hydrodynamic optimization of marine propeller using gradient and non-gradientbased algorithms,” Acta Polytech. Hungarica, vol. 10, no. 3, pp. 221–237, 2013.

N. M. Nouri and S. Mohammadi, “A multi-objective approach for determining the number of blades on a NACA marine propeller,” Eng. Mar., vol. 67, no. 2, 2016.

R. . Graham, “Safety Devices in Wing Birds,” J. R. Aeronaut. Soc., vol. 36, no. 253, pp. 24–58, 1932.

R. . Graham, “The Silent Flight of Owls,” J. R. Aeronaut. Soc., vol. 38, no. 286, pp. 837–843, 1934.

A. M. Knepper, “Examination of Three Candidate Technologies for High-Lift Devices on an Aircraft Wing,” College of Aeronautics, Cranfield University, 2005.

F. E. Fish and J. M. Battle, “Hydrodynamic design of the humpback whale flipper,” J Morphol, vol. 225, no. 1, pp. 51–60, 1995.

X. Liu, H. Jawahar, M. Azarpeyvand, and R. Theunissen, “Aerodynamic and Aeroacoustic Performance of Serrated Airfoils,” 21st AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conf., no. June, pp. 1–16, 2015.

T. P. Chong and A. Vathylakis, “On the aeroacoustic and flow structures developed on a flat plate with a serrated sawtooth trailing edge,” J. Sound Vib., vol. 354, pp. 65–90, 2015.

I. H. Ibrahim and T. H. New, “Tubercle modifications in marine propeller blades,” 10th Pacific Symp. Flow Vis. Image Process., no. June, pp. 1–11, 2015.

S. Y. Lin, Y. Y. Lin, C. J. Bai, and W. C. Wang, “Performance analysis of vertical-axis-wind-turbine blade with modified trailing edge through computational fluid dynamics,” Renew. Energy, vol. 99, pp. 654–662, 2016.

T. Arai, N. Seiji, K. Hitoshi, S. Kunobu, and K. Araki, “Propeller Type Fan,” CN 201410473050, 2014.

S. Oerlemans, “Arrangement to Reduce Noise of Wind Turbine Rotor Blade,” CN104454379 (A), 2015.

D. Yuanjun, L. Baohua, Y. Xingbiao, R. Changzai, C. Zutao, and Z. Linyuan, “Wind turbine blade adopting serrated blade tip tail edge structure and wind turbine,” CN104948396 (A), 2015.

W. J. Richard, “An Aerofoil Blade with a Set-Back Portion,” GB2483059 (A), 2012.

K. Fumio, M. Masashi, and F. Hironari, “Propeller Fan,” JPH06173895 (A), 1994.

Gliebe Philip Roger, “Serrated Fan Blade,” US2003152459 (A1), 2003.

G. Mathieu, J. Philip, and A. Mahdi, “Noise Attenuation in Rotating Blades,” US2014377077 (A1), 2014.

A. Carlos, “A Wind Turbine Blade,” WO2016001420 (A1), 2106.

S. Oerlemans and O. A. Smaerup, “Win Turbine Blade,” US2015247487 (A1), 2015.

S. Oerlemans, “Wind turbine rotor blade with serrated extension,” CN104514690 (A), 2015.

M. Ibrahim, A. Alsultan, S. Shen, and R. S. Amano, “Advances in Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine Blade Designs: Introduction of Slots and Tubercle,” J. Energy Resour. Technol., vol. 137, no. 5, p. 51205, 2015.

R. Belamadi, A. Djemili, A. Ilinca, and R. Mdouki, “Aerodynamic performance analysis of slotted airfoils for application to wind turbine blades,” J. Wind Eng. Ind. Aerodyn., vol. 151, pp. 79–99, 2016.

M. Menon, F. Ponta, X. Sun, Q. Dai, and M. Asce, “Aerodynamic Analysis of Flow-Control Devices for Wind Turbine Applications Based on the Trailing-Edge Slotted-Flap Concept,” Journal of Aerospace Engineering, vol. 29, no. 5, pp. 1–12, 2002.

S. N. Noorazyze, “Performance Evaluation of Slotted and Continuous Types Wind Turbine Blade,” Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia, 2014.

S. Kei, “Propeller,” JP2014169017 (A), 2014.

L. B. Paul, G. R. Richard, and B. B. Gene, “Rotor Blade,” CN104685160 (A).

C. Liu, B. Song, and H. Wang, “Design and Optimization of a Variable Diameter Propeller,” 2014 Int. Conf. Inf. Sci. Electron. Electr. Eng., vol. 1, no. 3, pp. 290–294, 2014.

Z. Chen, “Folding Propeller Design and Analysis for a Hybrid Driven Underwater Glider,” MTS/IEEE Ocean. Conf., 2013.

Z. Chen, J. Yu, A. Zhang, and F. Zhang, “Design and analysis of folding propulsion mechanism for hybrid-driven underwater gliders,” Ocean Eng., vol. 119, pp. 125–134, 2016.

W. Xie, P. Zeng, and L. Lei, “A novel folding blade of wind turbine rotor for effective power control,” Energy Convers. Manag., vol. 101, pp. 52–65, 2015.

S. Yilmaz, D. Erdem, and M. S. Kavsaoglu, “Performance of a ducted propeller designed for UAV applications at zero angle of attack flight: An experimental study,” Aerosp. Sci. Technol., vol. 45, pp. 376–386, 2015.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Please send any question about this web site to
Copyright © 2005-2020 Praise Worthy Prize