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What happens when you put a prop on incorrectly...


Patrick1
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Sharing my idiocy so someone else doesn't repeat. I flew my new miniplane for the first time with one half of the prop incorrectly fitted, the curved leading edge at the back and sharp trailing edge forward - obvious now but something it was pretty much impossible to do on my previous machine so I overlooked it.

Symptoms were massive lack of thrust and violent vibration in flight. Because I had never flown a miniplane before, I didn't suspect the lack of thrust was due to set up so I persevered and I managed, after a fast run, to take off and get to 100 feet agl into wind, but sank when down wind.

Thankfully, no harm done and second flight was sublime.

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Ooops! Even with a single piece wooden prop, the thrust is reduced to only around 30% when 'reversed'...

I' have to admit I put a prop on wrong way round before too, but spotted it on my preflights...

Moral of the story- If you even suspect that anything is wrong at all, STOP and make sure it's right.

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This is a good reason to manually check prop clearance before starting. When I've fitted the prop, I get hold of each tip in turn and rotate the prop through one full turn, checking that there is clearance to the cage, engine etc. all the way.

A backwards blade won't clear the engine, so it's not possible to start.

This check will also show up errors in cage assembly, sagging engine mounts, things dangling through the netting etc.

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