That is a great question and one that generates a lot of debate. The short answer is that not greasing your propeller as recommend puts you at serious risk of replacing normally reusable items when the propeller is next disassembled or overhauled.
While it is possible to create grease leaks or other undesirable conditions by “over lubricating” a propeller; it is very unlikely that these events will occur if the propeller is serviced in accordance with the intervals and procedures specified by the propeller manufacturer. Extensive Hartzell experience confirms that – by far – the most frequent cause of leaks is grease over-servicing during propeller maintenance. Carefully reading and properly following greasing procedures in your specific propeller owner’s manual will ensure that such over-servicing does not occur. Properly following Hartzell published greasing procedures – not skipping lubrication – is the proper way to minimize grease leaks.
Failing to properly lubricate a propeller can lead to a number of conditions that are a lot more concerning than a grease leak. As a mechanic, you understand that a propeller is a machine composed of a number of highly engineered parts that are subject to extremely high loads, wear and corrosion.
Adequate lubrication is a key aspect of proper maintenance and helps to prevent or minimize excessive wear and corrosion that may lead to premature part retirement.
Hartzell Propeller conducts routine training on propeller service and maintenance. We encourage attendance from IAs, Repair Stations and Regulatory Agencies as we feel that education is really the best tool we have to combat myths and poor practices.
We encourage you to insist that your IA be thoroughly familiar with Hartzell maintenance recommendations and follow them closely. If your IA believes there is a compelling reason not to do so, we would be happy to talk with them and explore all your options.
Every year, customers, aviation enthusiasts and pilots visit Hartzell HQ in Piqua, Ohio (aka “Propeller Town, U.S.A.”). Our tours offer a unique look at the drafting, engineering and manufacturing processes behind the world’s most advanced aircraft propellers. Groups interested in a tour should schedule their visit in advance by calling the Hartzell offices at 1 (800) 942-7767.
They are “Built on Honor.” Here’s what Hartzell Executive Vice President J.J. Frigge said about that in a recent video:
‘Built on Honor’ means that, for almost a hundred years now, you can depend on us and trust in us to provide the best performing, safest and highest quality propeller that you could possibly have for your aircraft.”
If you are interesting in learning about the specifics of our manufacturing processes, check out the feature on cellular manufacturing. You can find it on page 22 of this issue.
We are proud to say that Hartzell propellers are still the props of choice for Beechcraft King Air aircraft. Since these incredible aircraft were first introduced in 1964, they have served Presidents, militaries and discerning pilots around the globe. It gives us great pleasure to see Hartzell props adorning such a distinguished line of airplanes.
The civilian UAS market is just beginning to take off, but unmanned aircraft have actually been in service for decades. In fact, Hartzell has produced props for some of the most famous drones in history, including the record-breaking Boeing Condor. Today, Hartzell is working with some of the top names in the industry to manufacture propellers for modern unmanned aircraft. Visit HartzellProp.com/Government/UAV to find out more.