I was intrigued by Robert Greene’s review of the Wright brothers’ propeller design, “As before, they looked at the designs of their rivals and noticed another weakness: they had modeled their propellers on those of boats, once again opting for stability. Based on their own research, the brothers decided that the blades should be cambered, like the wings of a bird.” (Greene, 2012, p. 218). Move to the point, the Wright brothers previously built bicycles – a device that is inherently unstable. They knew we humans, if given the right controls, could learn to fly.
See this short animated video (Learning Engineering, 2019) for a visual explanation of the many engineering problems (and solutions) met by the high-school drop-out Wright brothers.
The question we all must ask ourselves is -- will your personal propeller be based up the ship’s screw for stability, or the bird’s wing, for speed?
I choose speed.