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Prop Protection

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I have a roll of ex RAF 'Speed Tape' which is battlefield aircraft repair tape made by 3M. It is a self adhesive aluminium foil, quite thick and will hold it's shape when deformed. It is rated for aircraft wing leading edges over mach 1, so should be up to the following;

I have just applied a narrow strip, about 20mm wide by 200mm long to each prop blade leading edge, over the outer 30% of the radius (excluding the final curved portion). With careful application it can be rubbed down, leaving no creases at all, and should provide a high degree of protection from stone chips.

Great care is required, because once it's stuck, it's STUCK!

If anyone else would like a couple of pieces to do the same (or three if required), then I'd be happy to cut you some. I suspect it would even conform to scimitar bladed props.

I'll take some photo's if anyone is interested.


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High Speed Tape.

I am sure I don't need to say this but you need to be a little careful with HST. It does have weight and thickness which means balance and aerodynamic disturbance when applied to 'yer prop. Phil_P makes a great point tho', it is very durable. So if you are going to use it, make sure you address those two issues with care.

It does come in differing thicknesses, Phil's is probably the thin stuff which would negate the probs I mention above. I have a roll of the heavy duty stuff probably. I use it for nearly everything. :lol:

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I would guess (and it really is a guess, as I can't be arsed going to my shed for the micrometer ) that the tape is about 0.2mm thick.

Balancing is a very real issue, as even a small mass has a great effect when spinning at 2.6k RPM.

What I did was as follows;

1) Cut two identical pieces of tape and mark its long axis centre line in light pencil.

2) Set the first one, with it's longitudinal centre-line along the very extreme leading edge of the blade.

3) using a cloth, slowly worked the tape to the blade shape, while excluding air bubbles.

4) Burnished with a piece of hard plastic to get rid of any tiny creases.

5) Used the same plastic to rub the edges of the tape to thin them slightly.

6) Made a paper template of the blade by tracing round it, marking where the strip was positioned.

7) Transfer the template to the other blade to provide positioning references.

8) Repeat 1-5 on the second blade.

At '5' above, this may also have pressed the foil slightly into the wood, which isn't an issue, unless I decide to dispense with the tape at a later date.

Oh, and removing the backing sheet from the tape is an art in itself :lol:

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