c5load
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Can Prop Airplanes Reverse Under Their Own Power?

Sun Nov 28, 2010 2:42 am

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?
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Starlionblue
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RE: Can Prop Airplanes Reverse Under Their Own Power?

Sun Nov 28, 2010 2:47 am

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.
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411A
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RE: Can Prop Airplanes Reverse Under Their Own Power?

Sun Nov 28, 2010 3:03 am

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

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SPREE34
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RE: Can Prop Airplanes Reverse Under Their Own Power?

Sun Nov 28, 2010 3:05 am

Yes, you can back up a propeller driven aircraft, if the prop has a reverse pitch available. I've reversed in the King Air.
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etherealsky
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RE: Can Prop Airplanes Reverse Under Their Own Power?

Sun Nov 28, 2010 3:10 am

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]
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kl671
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RE: Can Prop Airplanes Reverse Under Their Own Power?

Sun Nov 28, 2010 4:49 am

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
 
HaveBlue
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RE: Can Prop Airplanes Reverse Under Their Own Power?

Sun Nov 28, 2010 5:52 am

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.
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SAAFNAV
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RE: Can Prop Airplanes Reverse Under Their Own Power?

Sun Nov 28, 2010 8:54 am

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.

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MHG
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RE: Can Prop Airplanes Reverse Under Their Own Power?

Sun Nov 28, 2010 12:54 pm

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 ...
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vc10
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RE: Can Prop Airplanes Reverse Under Their Own Power?

Sun Nov 28, 2010 1:37 pm

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
 
AAR90
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RE: Can Prop Airplanes Reverse Under Their Own Power?

Sun Nov 28, 2010 2:11 pm

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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CanadianNorth
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RE: Can Prop Airplanes Reverse Under Their Own Power?

Sun Nov 28, 2010 2:19 pm

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).


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26point2
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RE: Can Prop Airplanes Reverse Under Their Own Power?

Sun Nov 28, 2010 4:26 pm

Caution: Very easy to stand a plane in its tail when moving in reverse if more than gentle braking is applied.
 
474218
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RE: Can Prop Airplanes Reverse Under Their Own Power?

Sun Nov 28, 2010 4:38 pm

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!
 
RussianJet
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RE: Can Prop Airplanes Reverse Under Their Own Power?

Sun Nov 28, 2010 4:41 pm

I recall seeing a JS41 doing it at STN several times.
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larshjort
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RE: Can Prop Airplanes Reverse Under Their Own Power?

Sun Nov 28, 2010 6:11 pm

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

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etherealsky
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RE: Can Prop Airplanes Reverse Under Their Own Power?

Sun Nov 28, 2010 8:56 pm

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  
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jetstar
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RE: Can Prop Airplanes Reverse Under Their Own Power?

Sun Nov 28, 2010 10:14 pm

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.

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474218
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RE: Can Prop Airplanes Reverse Under Their Own Power?

Sun Nov 28, 2010 10:38 pm

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
 
etherealsky
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RE: Can Prop Airplanes Reverse Under Their Own Power?

Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:07 am

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...
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nomadd22
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RE: Can Prop Airplanes Reverse Under Their Own Power?

Mon Nov 29, 2010 12:34 pm

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.
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JoeCanuck
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RE: Can Prop Airplanes Reverse Under Their Own Power?

Mon Nov 29, 2010 12:42 pm

Quoting nomadd22 (Reply 20):

Reverse on a Ski-doo snowmobile is accomplished by turning the engine backwards.
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SAAFNAV
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RE: Can Prop Airplanes Reverse Under Their Own Power?

Mon Nov 29, 2010 3:49 pm

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.

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Goldenshield
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RE: Can Prop Airplanes Reverse Under Their Own Power?

Mon Nov 29, 2010 3:56 pm

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]
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2H4
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RE: Can Prop Airplanes Reverse Under Their Own Power?

Mon Nov 29, 2010 4:40 pm

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?
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Fly2HMO
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RE: Can Prop Airplanes Reverse Under Their Own Power?

Mon Nov 29, 2010 9:17 pm

I seem to recall reading somewhere that some of the larger early prop liners (SuperConnies, DC-4/6/7) had reversible pitch props.
 
411A
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RE: Can Prop Airplanes Reverse Under Their Own Power?

Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:34 am

Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 25):
(SuperConnies, DC-4/6/7)

DC-4 does not.
 
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longhauler
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RE: Can Prop Airplanes Reverse Under Their Own Power?

Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:53 am

Quoting 411A (Reply 2):
First flight of the DC-6 from Santa Monica, not Long Beach.


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 change was achieved using fly weights and engine oil pressure. Was it different in the P&W R2800 of the DC-6?

That being the case, how was that propeller able to change pitch that was not running?
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RE: Can Prop Airplanes Reverse Under Their Own Power?

Tue Nov 30, 2010 4:12 am

Quoting longhauler (Reply 27):
I always thought that pitch change was achieved using fly weights and engine oil pressure. Was it different in the P&W R2800 of the DC-6?

That being the case, how was that propeller able to change pitch that was not running?

Electrically-powered pitch mechanisms.
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411A
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RE: Can Prop Airplanes Reverse Under Their Own Power?

Tue Nov 30, 2010 1:09 pm

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 28):
Electrically-powered pitch mechanisms.

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 is used, to boost engine oil to sufficient pressure, to change blade angles, when the engine is not operating...or, when the engine is operating, and propeller feathering is desired.
So, electric/oil.

However, some other aircraft were fitted with CurtisElectric propellers, and with these, oil pressure was not used to change propeller blade angles, IE, it was electric only, via a stephead motor in the propeller hub.

The specific type of propeller fitted was a customer driven requirement.
 
Northwest727
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RE: Can Prop Airplanes Reverse Under Their Own Power?

Wed Dec 01, 2010 6:52 pm

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 ramp equipment, buildings, and personnel injury.

Quoting longhauler (Reply 27):



As 2H4 and 411A said, it was the electrically operated Curtiss Electric propellers. If you are curious, here is a link about them.
 
Fly2HMO
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RE: Can Prop Airplanes Reverse Under Their Own Power?

Wed Dec 01, 2010 7:03 pm

Quoting Northwest727 (Reply 30):

As 2H4 and 411A said, it was the electrically operated Curtiss Electric propellers. If you are curious, here is a link about them.

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 a reason why (apparently) nobody uses them anymore.
 
access-air
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RE: Can Prop Airplanes Reverse Under Their Own Power?

Wed Dec 01, 2010 7:52 pm

Quoting 474218 (Reply 13):
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.


Wasnt aware that the reduction gear box has anything to do with propeller pitches....The best of knowledge all the reduction gear box does for the engine is reduce the RPMs in the engine to a much lower speed for the props.
The prop governer is the thing that controls the prop pitch..

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

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 direction would be horrible for those props and the energy tp completely reverse direction, would cause a LOT of problems.

As Canadian North stated above, the HS-748 or ANY aircraft powered by the Rolls Royce Dart engines Do Not have the capability of reverse prop pitch, only ground fine which flattens the pitch to make the props act as a big metal saucer or brake. These are constant speed props.

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411A
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RE: Can Prop Airplanes Reverse Under Their Own Power?

Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:20 am

Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 31):
Electric huh? That's new to me. How reliable were these systems?

Very reliable in operation.
Not so reliable was the individual propeller blade construction.
Most were of steel construction, and subject to severe corrosion, especially under the blade de-ice boot.
Once blade material and filler were changed, ops were much better, IE: corrosion eliminated.
With the Hamilton Standard propeller, engine oil was required to feather the propeller, with the CurtisElectric model, engine oil was not required, IE: all electric in operation.

[Edited 2010-12-01 17:25:44]
 
kingairta
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RE: Can Prop Airplanes Reverse Under Their Own Power?

Fri Dec 03, 2010 6:30 pm

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.

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 95% of all the landings reverse thrust was used to slow the airplane.

I've done detachments in Bahrain where we had to back into our parking spot everyday.

The only time we'd limit reverse thrust was on dirt runways. Otherwise if the plane was on pavement have at it.
 
Fly2HMO
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RE: Can Prop Airplanes Reverse Under Their Own Power?

Fri Dec 03, 2010 6:47 pm

Quoting 411A (Reply 33):
Very reliable in operation.
Not so reliable was the individual propeller blade construction.
Most were of steel construction, and subject to severe corrosion, especially under the blade de-ice boot.
Once blade material and filler were changed, ops were much better, IE: corrosion eliminated.
With the Hamilton Standard propeller, engine oil was required to feather the propeller, with the CurtisElectric model, engine oil was not required, IE: all electric in operation.

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 guess they take up a lot of amps as well.
 
musang
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RE: Can Prop Airplanes Reverse Under Their Own Power?

Fri Dec 03, 2010 7:15 pm

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 reversible, but lock the left brake, increase thrust on the No. 1 engine, and it could pivot around the locked wheel, moving the bulk of the aircraft rearward. Then lock the right wheel and power up No. 4, and repeat....

Quoting 474218 (Reply 13):
Just like the transmission in a car allows it to be reversed.

Except that in a car tranny, the change to/from reverse involves disconnecting the engine from the driveshaft, then reconnecting it via different gears/cogs. Taking a prop into reverse is simply a further transition of the normal pitch change mechanism, through fine into reverse.

I once backed a Do228 to the edge of the ramp, and seem to recall the powerback procedure was in the ATR flying manual although I never heard of it being used. It was there in case a tug or towbar was unavailable.

The other risk apart from tipping it on its @rse is propwash damage ahead of the aircraft, especially if it was not a normal operation where the ground crew would be familiar, and there would be no equipment to be blown around. Years ago at Gatwick a C-130 reversed on the cargo apron and blew several LD3s (aluminium baggage/freight containers) across a road. Luckily no collateral damage on that occasion.

Regards - musang
 
411A
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RE: Can Prop Airplanes Reverse Under Their Own Power?

Fri Dec 03, 2010 10:27 pm

Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 35):
I guess they take up a lot of amps as well.

Each engine had its own dedicated generator for powering the Curtis electric propeller.
In addition, the ships battery could be used, if necessary.
 
PGNCS
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RE: Can Prop Airplanes Reverse Under Their Own Power?

Sat Dec 04, 2010 10:47 pm

Quoting c5load (Thread starter):
Since most jets can legally reverse under their own power, can prop airplanes do the same?

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 not. In most jet aircraft it is specifically forbidden. In aircraft in which it is allowed it is a delicate maneuver, especially if rapid stopping is required, as it is quite easy to stand the aircraft on its tail by using brakes in some types.
 
jetstar
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RE: Can Prop Airplanes Reverse Under Their Own Power?

Sun Dec 05, 2010 3:51 am

Quoting etherealsky (Reply 19):
Quoting jetstar (Reply 17):
He also installed a fully reversible 2 blade prop on the C-182

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

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 basically a toy for him.

JetStar
 
Spacepope
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RE: Can Prop Airplanes Reverse Under Their Own Power?

Sun Dec 05, 2010 8:43 pm

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 on one side, and then rev the outboard engine on the same side. This would pivot the aircraft so that the opposite main gear was now behind where it started. The same procedure was used on the other side, and done over and over again as the aircraft slowly snaked its way backwards. Would loved to have seen that in action.
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rwessel
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RE: Can Prop Airplanes Reverse Under Their Own Power?

Mon Dec 06, 2010 6:47 am

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 40):
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 on one side, and then rev the outboard engine on the same side. This would pivot the aircraft so that the opposite main gear was now behind where it started. The same procedure was used on the other side, and done over and over again as the aircraft slowly snaked its way backwards.

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 overcome the scrubbing of the wheels, as most main gear wheels don’t pivot. And multi-wheel bogies would generally be worse in that regard than single wheel struts.
 
HaveBlue
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RE: Can Prop Airplanes Reverse Under Their Own Power?

Mon Dec 06, 2010 10:17 pm

Quoting musang (Reply 36):
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 reversible, but lock the left brake, increase thrust on the No. 1 engine, and it could pivot around the locked wheel, moving the bulk of the aircraft rearward. Then lock the right wheel and power up No. 4, and repeat....
Quoting Spacepope (Reply 40):
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 on one side, and then rev the outboard engine on the same side. This would pivot the aircraft so that the opposite main gear was now behind where it started. The same procedure was used on the other side, and done over and over again as the aircraft slowly snaked its way backwards. Would loved to have seen that in action

 
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