The momentum theory of moderately loaded propellers has been generalized to account for the effects of shear in the oncoming stream. A condition to determine the distribution of thrust for optimum efficiency is derived which generalizes a condition derived by Betz for a propeller in a uniform flow. This condition leads to a nonlinear integral equation, and a computer program has been developed for solving it. Results for a propeller of a given radius in particular wakes at different Reynolds numbers are presented and discussed.

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