WhirlWind Propellers had developed a full scale forward swept (FS) propeller blade for proof of concept testing. This is the first full scale forward swept (FS) propeller blade to be manufactured and tested (that we are aware of). The FS Propeller is currently in testing phase and we will share the results. Testing will focus on noise reduction and efficiency increases.
For decades the theoretical benefits of forward swept propeller blade designs have been discussed in the aerospace engineering community. Testing of wind tunnel models and CFD models have shown potential performance improvements and noise reduction for the forward swept propeller blade design. Aerodynamic tip losses plague propeller efficiency and performance, and the forward swept design attempts to address those losses. There have been several attempts to address tip losses using other propeller blade design modifications, such as winglets and fences, but these types of modifications have actually resulted in more drag on the propeller blade and loss in performance.