Testing in the Robinson Model Basin (RMB) has long been a supplement to Webb Institute’s academic program, providing students with a comprehensive education in naval architecture. Since the theory and design of propellers is an integral part of an education in naval architecture, utilization of the RMB testing facilities should naturally accompany traditional classroom propeller theory. Having recently been provided an apparatus for the testing of propellers, students now need an adequate source of propeller models.
The typical cost to have a specially designed propeller model manufactured for testing either for a thesis project or for classroom study is well beyond the financial means of Webb Institute. Previously, Webb has relied upon the generosity of other institutions with established propeller testing facilities, such as the University of Michigan and the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division (also referred to as David Taylor Model Basin, or DTMB), for the loan of propeller models. While these borrowed propellers have served their purpose in demonstrating classroom theory, there have been limitations in the applications for which the borrowed propellers could be used. An opportunity for students to see a propeller advance from design to production had yet to be established.