AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 0056B ACCREDITED

The 7 Common Types of Aircraft Propellers Explained

When it comes to aircraft propulsion, the aircraft propeller plays a crucial role for many models. This mechanism is an essential component responsible for generating thrust, propelling planes forward, and enabling controlled flight. From the early days of aviation to modern aircraft, propellers have evolved significantly with new technologies and designs coming about. In this blog, we will delve into the fascinating world of aircraft propellers and explore the seven different types commonly used today.

Fixed-Pitch Propeller

As the simplest, most common type of propeller typically found on smaller, piston-powered aircraft, the fixed-pitch propeller consists of two or more blades that are fixed in position, which means their pitch cannot be adjusted during flight. While they offer simplicity and reliability, they lack the ability to optimize performance across various flight conditions.

Ground Adjustable Propeller

The ground adjustable propeller is versatile, allowing the pilot to adjust its pitch on the ground. As such, this feature enables fine-tuning of performance for different flight conditions, such as takeoff, climb, and cruise. These propellers are frequently used in aircraft with piston engines and are preferred by pilots who require flexibility in optimizing their aircraft's performance. That being said, it is important to note that these propellers cannot be changed mid-flight

Constant-Speed Propeller

By presenting variable pitch settings in-flight, the constant-speed propeller overcomes the limitations of fixed-pitch propellers. In particular, it utilizes a governor system that automatically adjusts the blade angle to maintain a constant rotational speed, regardless of changes in engine power. Often found in general aviation and commercial aircraft, these propellers deliver superior performance across a wide range of flight conditions.

Controllable-Pitch Propeller

The controllable-pitch propeller, also known as the variable-pitch propeller, gives the pilot complete control over the blade pitch. For instance, by adjusting the pitch angle, the pilot can optimize the propeller's performance at different altitudes, airspeeds, and flight phases. These propellers are usually employed for larger aircraft with more powerful piston or turbine engines, yielding efficient operation and improved performance.

Blade Propeller

The blade propeller is constructed from a single piece of wood or metal and is shaped like an airfoil. These propellers offer simplicity and durability while providing adequate performance for many aircraft. With this in mind, they are commonly used on vintage and recreational aircraft, where their classic design adds a touch of nostalgia to the flying experience.

Boot Propeller

Employed primarily for amphibious aircraft, the boot propeller features a protective rubber boot that covers the propeller blades when the aircraft is operating on water, preventing damage from water spray and debris during water landings and takeoffs. For this reason, this propeller is crucial for aircraft designed to operate in both aquatic and terrestrial environments.

Braid Fiberglass Propeller

As we make it to the end of our propeller list, we cannot go without mentioning the braid fiberglass propeller, which is constructed using a combination of fiberglass and epoxy resins to establish lightweight yet strong propellers. These propellers are often applied in high-performance aircraft, resulting in enhanced efficiency and reduced vibration compared to traditional metal propellers.


Aircraft propellers have come a long way since the early days of aviation. Today, pilots and engineers have a variety of propeller options to choose from, each constructed to hone performance for different aircraft part types and flight conditions. At Nascent Industrial, we are proud to offer a robust selection of components for propeller-driven aircraft. If you are currently in search of these parts or any other items you might need, we invite you to check out our wide range of listings. Start the procurement process with us today to learn all that Nascent Industrial is ready to accomplish as your strategic sourcing partner!


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