Winter weather is especially tough on pilots. Poor visibility, rough winds and icy temperatures make for terrible and often dangerous flying conditions. But before you tuck your aircraft away for a blustery week or the whole of the season, consider this time of year a prime opportunity to perform much-needed maintenance, including possible propeller replacement.
At Hartzell we’ve been engineering the world’s best propellers for nearly a century. In our work with aviators around the world, we often consult on maintenance issues and concerns, and one of the top issues on our customers’ minds is propeller replacement. The truth is that installing the right propeller on a new aircraft – or replacing a propeller which has become damaged or corroded – can improve your aircraft’s performance so dramatically that many of our customers feel as if they’ve bought a whole new aircraft.
Before you store your aircraft for the winter, take one last chance to listen for any unusual vibrations or noises and look for a loose tip or bolts. Though it’s true that all props vibrate during operation, excessive vibrations could be the signal for something more serious, such as bent or out of track blades or an imbalance. Imbalances may be caused by the presence of snow or ice inside the shell, or incorrect mounting.
If you are about to reach your manufacturer’s recommended TBO (flight time or calendar time), winter is the perfect time to perform the recommended overhaul to check for corrosion. If your engine comes up for overhaul before your propeller, we recommend doing both at the same time to save on flight downtime and increase the overall efficiency of your aircraft.
You will also want to consider propeller replacement if you intend to change your flying habits or will be making a move from a sea level town to a higher elevation, or if you are looking for ways to make your aircraft quieter and improve take off and climb.
For instance, the Hartzell Top Prop Conversion program offers pilots significant performance increases with Hartzell’s durable, high performing aluminum and composite propellers, which are rated for industry leading time between overhauls.
For more information on propeller overhaul and replacement, contact the experts in our Service Center.