The Netherlands: Airborne’s Operational Testing With Composite Propeller

In January 2011, the composite propeller as developed and manufactured by Airborne, has been installed underneath a mine hunter of the Royal Dutch Navy for validation tests.

The initial test was to verify that the propeller could withstand the loads in all operational conditions, including the most severe load case of full force forward to full force backward. The test was carried out successfully, which is a big achievement. To our knowledge, this is the first large-scale composite propeller that successfully passed the full operational test.

The last three months, numerous other tests were carried out on a dedicated test track, all with positive results, which brings the main composite propeller to the next level. The ship with the composite propeller will go to the Mediterranean Sea for actual operational manoeuvres during which the propeller will face the most challenging test yet

In addition, the know-how and experience gained during the development of the composite propeller gave rise to another exciting opportunity: tidal energy turbine blades. Also a kind of composite propeller, with similar operating conditions and challenges. Airborne has been asked to propose to several pioneering tidal energy companies her concepts and ideas on how to design and manufacture these tidal energy turbine blades.


Source: airborneinternational, June 23, 2011