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Downsides to having a clutch driven prop.


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So having a clutch seems like a good idea, they will be centrifugal I guess



Prop is only spin in when engine engaged (less chance of prop/line strike.

Less chance of injury while on the Ground?

Efficiency - no energy required to spin prop at tickover

But as you have to give the engine more power to get the prop spinning does this mean you can't just tickle the throttle for small amounts of power, like you could on a direct drive.

Or does it take more revs to effect your flight than it does to engage the clutch?

What are your experiences with both?

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  • 2 weeks later...

If you power launch, the benefit of a clutch is lost. As soon as you are up running and powering, benefit is lost. It takes longer for a clutch prop to stop spinning than pressing the stop button on a belt machine if you are quick on the button.

Slower spoil up on the clutch. A heavy prop on a light clutch can slip and burn it out. There's s tiny delay on spool up, but it is there.

Small engines are using a lot of rpm before the clutch even kicks in, bigger engines really kick in.

Problems that can happen, Broken woodruff key, loose bolts, oil changes, bearings, gaskets, clutch shoes, clutch springs.

Fancy flash double Spring starters for clutch machines are heavier and more complicated. Belt drive use prop inertia to help pull start.

Engine off free flying the clutched prop spins, the belt prop is still.

Tickover is the only advantage I see. Ideal for teaching (safer) or nervous pilot forward launching.

Food for thought.

Belt drive is simple, exposed, easy to pre-flight.

In the end it's just a personal choice.

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