Voith Schneider Propeller

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(CC) Photo: Christopher Johnson
Animation of a vertical view of a Voith Schneider Propeller.
The Osprey Class Coastal Mine Hunters use a pair of Voith Schneider propellers.

The Voith Schneider Propeller is a specialized marine propulsion system.[1][2] It is highly maneuverable; being able to change the direction of its thrust almost instantaneously. The system uses a large rotating circular plate, mounted on the bottom of the vessel. The rotating plate has a number of long vertical hydrofoil blades that protrude from it, each of which rotates independently.

The propulsion system alters the direction of the propeller's thrust, and the magnitude of its thrust, by altering the angle of attack of the vertical plates as the horizontal plate they protrude from rotates. This allows instaneous changes of direction simply by altering the blades angle of attack, in a way that is homogolous to how altering the angle of attack of helicopter blades alters the direction of their thrust.

Voith Schneider propeller's maneuverability makes them well suited for driving tug-boats and fire-boats. Their low acoustic signature makes them well suited for minesweeping duties.[3]

Vessels equipped with Voith Schnieder propellers are not suited for navigating in shallow waters, because the blades protude below the hull.


  1. Michel Verhoeven. Voith Schneider Propulsion. Retrieved on 2007-11-16.
  2. Voith Schneider Propellers. Voith. Retrieved on 2007-11-16.
  3. Coastal Mine Hunters (MHC) Osprey Class, United States Navy. Retrieved on 2007-11-16.