Skip to Main Content

Propeller From SS United States.

Giant Propeller From SS United States

Field review by the editors.

Newport News, Virginia

What moves an ocean liner from point A to point B? It's not the fuel; it's the propeller, screwing itself through Neptune's domain, shoving the boat ahead of it.

Titanic-sized propellers rarely get appreciated because they're usually under water. And, also, they're tremendously large and heavy. Someone really has to want a propeller to haul one away as a photo op. A huge one -- 34 tons -- stands at the entrance to the Mariners' Museum in Newport News, Virginia.

The Virginia propeller comes from the SS United States, which is currently rusting at an off-limits pier in Philadelphia (with 2020 development plans afoot to transform to a "hospitality and cultural space" suitable for some lucky waterfront city).

The colossal five-bladed screw is suspended on an original propeller shaft more than 14 feet off of the ground, and hangs over the edge of a manufactured waterfall.

The spot had once been occupied by another big propeller, but the SS United States propeller is far bigger and reportedly nearly 80 percent heavier than the conventional four-bladed screw that it replaced.

Giant Propeller From SS United States

Mariners' Museum Park

Museum Dr., Newport News, VA
At the entrance to Mariners' Museum Park. On the southeast corner of US 60/Warwick Blvd and J. Clyde Morris Blvd/Shoe Lane.
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Viking Leifr Eiriksson StatueViking Leifr Eiriksson Statue, Newport News, VA - < 1 mi.
USS Monitor Relics, ReplicaUSS Monitor Relics, Replica, Newport News, VA - < 1 mi.
Atomic Cannon: Prototype or No. 1?Atomic Cannon: Prototype or No. 1?, Newport News, VA - 3 mi.
In the region:
Auto Muffler King, Newport News, VA - 5 mi.

More Quirky Attractions in Virginia

Stories, reports and tips on tourist attractions and odd sights in Virginia.

Explore Thousands of Unique Roadside Landmarks!

Strange and amusing destinations in the US and Canada are our specialty. Start here.
Use's Attraction Maps to plan your next road trip.

My Sights

My Sights on Roadside America

Save Cool Vacation Destinations! ...Try My Sights

Mobile Apps

Roadside America app: iPhone, iPad Roadside America app for iPhone, iPad. On-route maps, 1,000s of photos, special research targets! ...More

Roadside Presidents app: iPhone, iPad Roadside Presidents app for iPhone, iPad. POTUS landmarks, oddities. ...More

Virginia Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center, Woodland Park, Colorado (Apr 15-21, 2024)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings