That the speed of an airplane may be increased from thirty-nine to 140 percent by putting a ring around the propeller is the discovery announced by two Compton, Calif., inventors. The circular cowling is said to straighten out the air blast
of the propeller and increase its effectiveness. Vanes within the ring, which the inventors are indicating in the picture above, may be adjusted during flight to increase the air drag and so serve as brakes in landing.

  1. Hirudinea says: April 4, 201211:27 am

    If they don’t make this in a pusher configuration I ain’t flying in it!

  2. quadibloc says: April 4, 201211:37 am

    It seems like such a good idea that I wonder why nothing came of it. After all, it was only during World War II that jet engines started to come out, so there was a whole decade in which this could have become the new face of aviation.

  3. quadibloc says: April 4, 201211:40 am

    Looking for the reason why, I found some prior art instead. Something called the “Gallaudet Drive” from 1916.

  4. Hirudinea says: April 4, 201211:44 am

    @ Quadibloc – Well aside from the obvious obstruction of the pilots view check out the article on Ducted Fans (which I believe this thing is).…

  5. quadibloc says: April 5, 20124:16 pm

    The Wikipedia article was very informative. Ducted fans require the engine to be very low in vibration, and, while they increase efficiency when the plane is accelerating, they decrease efficiency when it is cruising. But I find it interesting that one ducted fan design, the Bell X-22, looks quite similar to a current military airplane design, the Osprey… except that it lost the ducted fans.

  6. Hirudinea says: April 5, 20126:03 pm

    @ quadibloc – And since airplanes spend a lot more time cruising than accelerating that probably explains why they’re not on planes today.

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