An international community of specialists reinvented the propeller during the Aeronautical Revolution, a vibrant period of innovation in North America and Europe from World War I to the end of World War II. They experienced both success and failure as they created competing designs that enabled increasingly sophisticated and 'modern' commercial and military aircraft to climb quicker and cruise faster using less power. Reinventing the Propeller nimbly moves from the minds of these inventors to their drawing boards, workshops, research and development facilities, and factories, and then shows us how their work performed in the air, both commercially and militarily. Reinventing the Propeller documents this story of a forgotten technology to reveal new perspectives on engineering, research and development, design, and the multi-layered social, cultural, financial, commercial, industrial, and military infrastructure of aviation.Read more
- Explores the technical, cultural, and social dimensions of engineering innovation
- Highlights the central and often tumultuous relationship between inventors, private industry, the armed forces, and other government agencies in the development of new technologies
- Compliments and goes beyond works on other aeronautical technologies to present a fuller picture of the nature of engineering innovation
Reviews & endorsements
'Jeremy R. Kinney's masterful study of the evolution of the aircraft propeller not only represents an important contribution to the history of flight technology, it is also that rare specialist account that illuminates broader questions in the development of complex technical systems.' Tom D. Crouch, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian InstitutionSee more reviews
'Jeremy R. Kinney illuminates the long-neglected mechanisms which propelled crafts of the air through the early 20th century and the Second World War. In this replete and comprehensive book, Dr. Kinney at last has supplied the missing pieces to the puzzle of powered flight.' C. Evan Davies, Institute of Historical Survey, New Mexico
'Thanks to Jeremy R. Kinney we now have the first comprehensive treatment of the aircraft propeller as a component of the international technical and cultural revolution that transformed the airplane more than three-quarters of a century ago. Anyone seeking new insight into the history of heavier-than-air flight and the complexity of technological change will want to read this important book.' William F. Trimble, Auburn University, Alabama
'Thoroughly researched and remarkably well written, Reinventing the Propeller provides the first truly contextualized history of this crucial piece of aeronautical technology as well as the international community that developed it. It is a must-read for historians of technology and airplane aficionados alike.' Alan Meyer, Auburn University, Alabama
'It is written from an American viewpoint but covers developments in Britain and Germany in some detail. This is fair, because the United States led the development of propellers between the two World Wars. … The book provides an excellent and detailed account of the development of propellers from the start of powered flight to the 1960s, when turbojet propulsion became dominant. … it is a book well worth reading.' C. G. B. Mitchell, Afterburner
'… the book is well-researched, well-informed, and richly detailed. It is likely to remain the last word on this subject for years to come.' Alex Roland, Technology and Culture
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- Date Published: May 2017
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9781107142862
- length: 386 pages
- dimensions: 236 x 160 x 25 mm
- weight: 0.67kg
- contains: 25 b/w illus. 4 tables
- availability: In stock
Table of Contents
1. Introduction. The propeller and the modern airplane
2. 'The best propeller for starting is not the best for flying'
3. 'Engineering of a pioneer character'
4. A 'new type adjustable-pitch propeller'
5. 'The propeller that took Lindbergh across'
6. 'The ultimate solution of our propeller problem'
7. No. 1 propeller company
8. A gear shift for the airplane
10. 'The Spitfire now 'is an aeroplane''
11. A propeller for the air age
12. Conclusion. The triumph and decline of the propeller
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