Every day, the Hartzell team meets aviators from around the world, and we are often asked about the proper time for propeller replacement. We are a company of aviators, and we understand the desire to get every last flight hour out of a prop. But, flying an aircraft in need of propeller replacement can be a serious risk. Here are three ways to determine if you need a new propeller.
If the items below apply to you, consider our Top Prop Conversion Program. Hartzell’s durable, high performing aluminum and composite propellers are rated for industry leading time between overhauls. Top Prop propellers offer pilots significant performance increases and a service life that offers a real cost benefit versus your old propeller.
1.) Your propeller has been damaged due to impact or corrosion.
Wooden propellers are susceptible to many types of damage due to impact. Aluminum props, while more durable, are not immune to impact damage. All props are susceptible to corrosion and damage from inclement weather. You should inspect your prop before and after each flight, and make a thorough inspection after every 100 hours of operation. Small cracks can quickly be exacerbated into major problems under the demanding conditions of flight. If you find a crack, consult a certified aircraft care professional and consider an overhaul or replacement propeller.
2.) You have exceeded your propeller’s operational life limit.
The incredible progress of aviation technology and safety over the last century may make it seem like modern aircraft are free from the dangers of the past. But, much of that progress has been made possible by placing strict operational limits on parts and equipment. Operating propellers beyond their intended service life is inadvisable and may be dangerous. The degeneration of an old propeller may be difficult to perceive, but small issues are more likely to snowball into large problems during flight than in the hangar. It just isn’t a risk worth taking. Hartzell’s modern carbon fiber propellers are certified to last up to 10,000 hours. So, even though propeller replacement may seem like a large investment, it can be a great economic decision while improving aircraft safety and performance.
3. You are looking for a significant performance increase.
It has been written in magazines, reported by satisfied pilots, demonstrated in the Red Bull Air Race and even extolled by our aircraft manufacturing partners: Hartzell’s aluminum and ASC-II composite propellers dramatically improve aircraft performance. Engineering the world’s best propellers has been our team’s passion for nearly a century. We do it because we are pilots. We live for the thrill of the extra knots, reduced take-off distances and extra flight time of a more powerful and efficient aircraft. We wrote this post because so many pilots ask us about propeller overhaul and replacement, but the one thing we hear time and time again from satisfied Hartzell customers is, “It’s like flying a whole new airplane.”
For more information on propeller overhaul and replacement, contact the experts in our Service Center.