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Propeller's wear doubt

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Looking at some model builds of WWII planes, I noticed some modelers tend to represent the back of the blades with more wear than the front face, in some cases stripping most of the paint revealing the metal surface.


Some wartime pictures show similar features but aren't many of them showing the back of the propellers to know how common this is.


Aside from your help determining if this is a common occurrence, what causes this? I'm guessing could be due to aerodynamic forces unless there is a difference in the painting process between the front and the back.


Thanks in advance for your help.



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Just to make sure we are ALL on the same page here, I think it helps to understand two propeller terms: back and face.  The back of the propeller blade is (contrary to normal thought) the surface that faces to the front of the airplane i.e. the side of the prop that has the logo's and stencils on it.  The face of the propeller blade is the side that the pilot is looking at as seen from the cockpit.


The most wear on a propeller is on the leading edge and the face of the blade (the side the pilot sees.  The closer to the tip, the greater the wear.


YES, the finish (paint) DOES come off the back of the blades too, usually when erosion takes the finish from the leading edge and paint then chips off the back of the blade.



Cross-sectional area of a propeller blade airfoil.jpg

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Depends on the environment the planes are being flown in.  I’ve seen pics of Corsairs flying off of coral strips with most of the “back” blade worn to bare metal.   For carrier based planes, you won’t see any of this.  

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