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Can Prop Airplanes Reverse Under Their Own Power?  
User currently offlinec5load From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 917 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 8122 times:

Since most jets can legally reverse under their own power, can prop airplanes do the same? I know pilots are able to change the direction of the propellor to provide enough reverse thrust for slowing on landing roll, can they change even more to get it moving in reverse from a stop?


"But this airplane has 4 engines, it's an entirely different kind of flying! Altogether"
42 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 16908 posts, RR: 67
Reply 1, posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 8117 times:

They don't change the direction of the prop. It always spins the same way. The pitch of the blades is changed so that thrust is produced in the opposite direction.

Many props have been able to reverse pitch for decades. IIRC some can also move backwards just like the C-17.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offline411A From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1826 posts, RR: 8
Reply 2, posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 8105 times:

See here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5VfUktL-Ck

First flight of the DC-6 from Santa Monica, not Long Beach.
My father was Engineering Project Manager on the type...DC-7, too.


User currently offlineSPREE34 From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 2195 posts, RR: 9
Reply 3, posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 8106 times:

Yes, you can back up a propeller driven aircraft, if the prop has a reverse pitch available. I've reversed in the King Air.


I don't understand everything I don't know about this.
User currently offlineetherealsky From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 328 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 8088 times:

Turboprops can do it, but I don't know if any reciprocating engine has ever had reversing capabilities  

Of course, in most cases I think it is against the manufacturer's guidance to use reverse pitch (beta range) below an established forward airspeed due to the risk of FOD damage to the prop or engine. However, it definitely comes in handy in certain situations; I recently saw a Caravan reverse back into a parking spot beside a grass runway because there was no ground equipment available to move him after shutdown. Needless to say, the owner of the clean little Experimental next to the Caravan was not very happy with having his shiny airplane covered in dust and grass afterwards   

Quoting 411A (Reply 2):

edit: nevermind, i stand corrected; i guess some older radials could do it 

[Edited 2010-11-27 19:14:40]


"And that's why you always leave a note..."
User currently offlinekl671 From Canada, joined Jul 2005, 141 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 8032 times:

The C130 has no issues with reversing under its own power.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHfp0m8MPuY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMLPi0y3j8Y


User currently offlineHaveBlue From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 2090 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 7992 times:

Quoting kl671 (Reply 5):
The C130 has no issues with reversing under its own power.

I've seen P-3's, C-130's and C-17's do it.

Not a prop but I've been on an L-1011 doing it, back when I was a kid.



Here Here for Severe Clear!
User currently onlineSAAFNAV From South Africa, joined Mar 2010, 254 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 7948 times:

Quoting HaveBlue (Reply 6):

I've seen P-3's, C-130's and C-17's do it.

Yep, we do if with the C-130's if the occasion calls for it. In this case, we have the rear Loadmaster pattering the Pilot out.

Erich



On-board Direction Consultant
User currently offlineMHG From Germany, joined Dec 2004, 760 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 7894 times:

I remember sitting in an EMB-120 at BRU in 1993 when we pushed back from parking position under reverse with a marshaller infront of the aircraft guiding the cockpit crew ...
I could see the marshaller in front of the a/c (cockpit doors were not neccessarily closed then all the time) giving the cockpit crew directions during the power back ...

IIRC the ATR-42 is allowed power back as well ...



I miss the sound of rolls royce darts and speys
User currently offlinevc10 From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1397 posts, RR: 16
Reply 9, posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 7875 times:

The Lockheed Constellation could easily back up on its own power as could the Bristol Britannia on which the F/E used to stand on his seat and stick his head up through the ditching hatch so as to check all was clear behind. No matter which aircraft you were on when backing it was always best for the pilots to keep their feet on the floor so they were not tempted to apply the brakes, which could possibly sit the aircraft on its tail

User currently offlineAAR90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 3451 posts, RR: 47
Reply 10, posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 7843 times:

Grumman E2/C2 planes are commonly taxied backward using reverse thrust. You haven't learned how to taxi properly until you've learned how to back into a parking spot on an aircraft carrier that is just 4 inches wider than your prop arcs and stop with 1/2 the plane over the side of the ship (without falling over the side into the water).   


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User currently offlineCanadianNorth From Canada, joined Aug 2002, 3387 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 7839 times:

Depends on the aircraft. Many can, many can't. HS-748 cannot; as the props can't actually reverse pitch, just go to essentially zero pitch (which still helps a lot on landing - as far as going fast in a forward direction goes zero pitch is about as helpfull as hanging a sheet of plywood off the front of the engine).


CanadianNorth



What could possibly go wrong?
User currently offline26point2 From United States of America, joined Mar 2010, 786 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 7773 times:

Caution: Very easy to stand a plane in its tail when moving in reverse if more than gentle braking is applied.

User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 13, posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 7758 times:

Quoting etherealsky (Reply 4):
Turboprops can do it, but I don't know if any reciprocating engine has ever had reversing capabilities


It has nothing to do with the engine type. If the gear box that controls the prop angle allows for reversal then the aircraft can reverse also.

Just like the transmission in a car allows it to be reversed.

The engine runs in one direction only!


User currently offlineRussianJet From Kyrgyzstan, joined Jul 2007, 7629 posts, RR: 23
Reply 14, posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 7752 times:
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I recall seeing a JS41 doing it at STN several times.


✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
User currently offlineLarshjort From Denmark, joined Dec 2007, 1351 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 7708 times:

Quoting 26point2 (Reply 12):
Caution: Very easy to stand a plane in its tail when moving in reverse if more than gentle braking is applied.

On the PC-12 you're only allowed to stop the backwards motion by using the propeller

/Lars



139, 306, 319, 320, 321, 332, 34A, AN2, AT4, AT5, AT7, 733, 735, 73G, 738, 739, 146, AR1, BH2, CN1, CR2, DH1, DH3, DH4
User currently offlineetherealsky From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 328 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 7652 times:

Quoting 474218 (Reply 13):

I know; perhaps I worded my post poorly - I wasn't sure if any propeller+governor combination with reversing capabilities had ever been paired up with a recip. engine  



"And that's why you always leave a note..."
User currently offlinejetstar From United States of America, joined May 2003, 1616 posts, RR: 10
Reply 17, posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 7592 times:
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Many moons ago, when I was working at a repair station, we had a customer that had a C-182 that he had the Robertson STOL package installed on it. He also installed a fully reversible 2 blade prop on the C-182, so he would taxi up to the ramp, put it in reverse and back it into his tie down spot instead of pushing it back.

Unfortunately, there were many problems with the prop governor that came with the kit, and the factory was never able to correct the problem, so he reinstalled the original propeller and prop governor and returned the kit to the factory. I don’t remember if this kit was from Robertson or a third party.

JetStar


User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 18, posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 7579 times:

Here are examples of two aircraft with fully reversible propellers. One piston powered and one turbo-jet powered.

http://www.aerospace-technology.com/projects/piaggio

http://www.aerospaceweb.org/question/planes/q0039a.shtml


User currently offlineetherealsky From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 328 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 7448 times:

Quoting jetstar (Reply 17):
He also installed a fully reversible 2 blade prop on the C-182

WOW  Wow! A bit overkill perhaps? I wonder what the total landing distance was on a beast like that with a STOL kit as well...



"And that's why you always leave a note..."
User currently offlinenomadd22 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1764 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 7402 times:

Quoting etherealsky (Reply 4):
Turboprops can do it, but I don't know if any reciprocating engine has ever had reversing capabilities


There are a few. Not in aircraft as far as I know, but there are two stroke engines in boats and small equipment that can be started in either direction.



Andy Goetsch
User currently offlineJoeCanuck From Canada, joined Dec 2005, 5318 posts, RR: 30
Reply 21, posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 7401 times:

Quoting nomadd22 (Reply 20):

Reverse on a Ski-doo snowmobile is accomplished by turning the engine backwards.



What the...?
User currently onlineSAAFNAV From South Africa, joined Mar 2010, 254 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 7341 times:

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 21):

Reverse on a Ski-doo snowmobile is accomplished by turning the engine backwards.

On big ships as well. All two (most?) 2 stroke engines can run in either direction.

Erich



On-board Direction Consultant
User currently offlineGoldenshield From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 5845 posts, RR: 15
Reply 23, posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 7334 times:

Quoting MHG (Reply 8):
I remember sitting in an EMB-120 at BRU in 1993 when we pushed back from parking position under reverse

Technically, the term is 'Powerback,' and it also applies to jets, as they are achieving it under their own power.

I want to say that there are several airports where it's pretty much required to powerback at the end of the runway in order to maximize the available runway length.

[Edited 2010-11-29 07:56:18]


Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
User currently offline2H4 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 8955 posts, RR: 60
Reply 24, posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 7316 times:
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Quoting etherealsky (Reply 19):
WOW! A bit overkill perhaps?

I'd say so. The ground roll of a 182 isn't something I would describe as lengthy, even on short strips.

Question - does anyone know what was the first aircraft to use a reversible prop? How about the first aircraft to use a reversible prop in commercial service?



Intentionally Left Blank
25 Fly2HMO : I seem to recall reading somewhere that some of the larger early prop liners (SuperConnies, DC-4/6/7) had reversible pitch props.
26 411A : DC-4 does not.
27 longhauler : I found that video of the new DC-6 fascinating, as I have never seen a propeller change pitch that was not running. I always thought that pitch chang
28 2H4 : Electrically-powered pitch mechanisms.
29 411A : It depends on which type of propeller. On the DC-6 in the video, Hamilton Standard propellers were fitted, and a DC powered electric feathering pump
30 Post contains links Northwest727 : Yes, they can, if they are fitted with reversible props. Though I know that it is often prohibited due to FOD ingestion, noise, and possible damage to
31 Fly2HMO : Electric huh? That's new to me. How reliable were these systems? They seem potentially more simple than oil/spring/nitrogen systems but there must be
32 Access-Air : Only the angle of the prop is changed not the direction in which it spins, even in reverse pitch...To stop and turn the prop in the opposite directio
33 411A : Very reliable in operation. Not so reliable was the individual propeller blade construction. Most were of steel construction, and subject to severe c
34 KingairTA : Why I was in C-130s SOP while backing the plane using the props was feet off the rudder pedals. This prevented the temptation to tap the brakes. Also
35 Fly2HMO : I would imagine the hub itself being pretty reliable. I just wonder why nobody seems to produce them anymore. Too heavy? Too expensive perhaps? I gue
36 musang : Arguably not what the OP intended, but I recall learning from a TV documentary that the B-17 could reverse in its own special way. The props were not
37 411A : Each engine had its own dedicated generator for powering the Curtis electric propeller. In addition, the ships battery could be used, if necessary.
38 PGNCS : A minor clarification that doesn't alter the intent of the OP's question: some jets are legally allowed to powerback (DC-9, MD-80, etc.) but most are
39 jetstar : The owner told me with the reverse prop he could land in about 100 feet. The owner was very wealthy, this was not his only airplane, so it was basica
40 Spacepope : I read a long time back that the B-17 could walk itself backwards even though its props couldn't reverse. Procedure was to stand on the maingear brake
41 rwessel : Theoretically that could work on any aircraft that had engines outboard of the mains. As a practical matter, you’d have to have enough leverage to
42 Post contains images HaveBlue :
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