Maintaining and Storing Your Prop

Video article 1:  
Maintaining and Storing Your Prop

 

A hand-crafted wooden propeller deserves some TLC, especially if you were the one that hand crafted it!  

V-1-1 washing a wood prop  After a few flights, wash your prop with soap, warm water, and a clean, soft rag.  
  

DO NOT use solvents to clean your prop for two reasons.  First, since like dissolves like, it’s possible to get unlucky and find a solvent that attacks the varnish of your wood prop.  The wrong solvent will ruin the finish on your prop nearly instantly.  

Second, the dirt and bugs on your prop will usually dissolve more easily with soap and water than they do with solvents.  A mild detergent like dish soap usually works well.

As you’re cleaning the prop, check the leading edge for nicks and chips that might need repair before your next flight.

 V-1-2 prop and prop cover When you are done,  it’s a good idea to cover your prop with a canvass prop cover.  This is optional but it can help keep your prop clean, and will protect it from some types of hangar rash.
  

Remember to leave your prop in the horizontal position when your plane is parked.  Here’s why.  Since your prop is made of wood, and was once alive, there is a certain natural amount of moisture in the wood.

If you leave your prop parked in the vertical position this moisture can slowly migrate to the downward blade resulting in an out of balance condition, so always leave your prop parked horizontally.

V-1-3 wooden prop on end

 

Occasionally you will need to store your prop off your airplane, but don’t stand it on it’s end in a corner.  Your can permanently warp if you leave it like this.   

When you need to store your prop off the airplane, store it flat on a table like this, and wrap it up for good measure.  Remember these three things for storing a prop off the aircraft:

  • Store it flat
  • Horizontal
  • Out of direct sunlight

Notes:

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  • Photos are indicative only, colours and layouts may vary slightly due to the nature of products such as wood used in finial construction.
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