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How Was The Propeller Invented? It Was Actually Because Of An Accident.
Jul 14, 2018

British Watt invented the steam engine, the first time people tasted the sweetness of working with machines, followed by the fierce first industrial revolution. At that time, the ship's propulsion method mainly relied on windsurfing and rocking. Some people with brains and cleverness began to ponder and use the machine to push the ship to walk, so the ship was invented. At that time, the ship used the "Ming Wheel". Most of the "Ming Wheel" was exposed on the water surface. The machine used to drive a raft of duck feet, and the raft was paddled with the wheels. The front creates a high pressure, the back creates a vortex that creates a low pressure, and the pressure difference between the front and back creates a thrust that pushes the ship away.

However, the structure of the paddle wheel is complicated and affected by wind and waves. If the ship encounters wind and waves, it will swing to the left like a duck. The air and water density are 800 times different. The huge paddle wheel enters and exits in it, which is easily damaged. . The exposed wheel that was exposed outside was also a good target for the enemy. During the Crimean War in 1854, there were still many Minglun warships. The coast's turrets focused on attacking these paddles and suffered heavy losses. The biggest shortcoming of the Ming Pai is that it is inefficient. Some people are determined to change it. They think of Archimedes.


Archimedes was an ancient Greek mathematician and physicist who invented a cylindrical spiral water lift to solve the problem of water irrigation in the Nile. A plurality of blades are mounted on the rotating shaft, and each blade has a certain angle of attack to generate lift, just like the electric fan blows, and when the rotating shaft rotates, the water is sent out. This type of spiral water pump can be used to transport water. According to Newton's reaction force principle, things that can transport water can also be pushed by the ship. The propeller (not yet) can continuously advance under water, without the need for a paddle wheel. When the water comes in and out, I think that the efficiency is higher. However, the device needs to be installed underwater, that is, the hole in the ship, the sea water is pervasive, and many captains are resolutely opposed to opening holes in the ship, so many people have come up with ideas, but most of them have been smashed.

In 1835, British engineer Smith and Swedish engineer Eriksson were involved in the development and patenting of propellers. In addition to them, there were several claims to invent the propellers, but they are currently recognized as two of them. In 1836, Smith finally invented his first set of propellers, a two-pitch wooden propeller that looks the same as Archimedes' Nile waterwheel. The two pitches are equivalent to the screws with three rows of threaded teeth. If one thread is turned, the thread can enter two circles. At that time, there is no complete theoretical support. He assumes that the more the circle, the higher the efficiency, but the test result is not. ideal.


Smith installed the two-pitch wood propeller on a small six-ton steamboat. The effect was very poor. The ship could only be opened for about 4 knots. He was anxious and tried repeatedly. One day in February 1837, something went wrong. During the experiment, the wood propeller hit an underwater obstacle and broke into two pieces. Smith was so anxious that he wanted to jump over the river. He didn't expect the ship to be like chicken blood. He accidentally speeded up and advanced at about 12 knots. Inspired by this accident, Smith turned his long screw into a short screw, which later turned into a blade, which has the look of today's propeller, with a few blades on a shaft.

In fact, most scientific discoveries are the first to find such a big hit, and then inductive feedback. Inventors of the early years did not have much books to refer to, with curiosity, curiosity and perseverance. Successful.


The successful Smith opened the company and actively promoted his marine propeller. In 1839, the first propeller-powered ship was built and named "Propeller". At that time, the name was not overbearing, and it was renamed "Archimedes" in London, England - Portsmouth. - Operated between Bristol. Between a pile of sailboats and a paddle wheel, the boat spit black smoke and pulled the wind.


The world's first propeller ship "Archimedes", wooden hull, 38 meters long, 6.7 meters wide, 237 tons of displacement, installed with two 30 horsepower steam engines, the maximum speed of about 9 knots, cost 10,000 pounds, The ship at that time also retained sail as an alternative.


The propeller is gradually getting into practical use, but who is more powerful with the paddle steamer? The public said that the public is reasonable, the woman said that the woman is reasonable, then pull it out and try it. On August 3, 1845, the Royal Navy, which had always been very concerned about new technology, arranged for a time-honored paddle boat "HMS Alecto" and a propeller ship "HMS Rattler". The strength of the competition, the two boats are connected by a thick cable, and they are opened in the opposite direction. This is the use of ships to engage in tug-of-war competition. The effect is obvious.

The displacement of these two ships is about 800 tons, and the engine is also about 200 horsepower. The effect is very obvious. The propeller ship "nickname" dragged the unobtrusive paddle steamer "Alektuo" to the speed of 2.5 knots. . In only one match, the wheel faction did not admit defeat. Later, it was arranged once again. Not only did the tug-of-war, but also the intimate increase of the race, the propeller ship "nickname", won. The paddle ship was too angry, and the name of the ship was preserved, misleading people for more than a hundred years.


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