Ultralight aircraft propeller problems

GSC Prop Failure on an ultralight aircraft

Ultralight Aircraft Propellers:

The propeller is usually the most neglected part of the propulsion system. Yet it is what takes the power and creates the thrust which result in the wings developing lift. An improper propeller can cause the engine to over rev, resulting in overheating and engine failure.

Under rev resulting in poor climb, usually resulting in an accident. It also is subject to a great deal of stress, from changes in engine RPM, aircraft attitude, and vibration from the engine, and improper prop balance. It is also subject to environmental damage from the sun, wind, rain, and ground.

Wood ultralight props are at the mercy of the elements

Propeller failures have resulted in engines being completely separated from the aircraft, resulting in loss of control, causing serious injury and death!

Check the prop for nicks or cracks
Check it for signs of environmental damage, rotting, paint pealing.
Check the inside of the hub area on older Warp Drive and IVO props for cracking .
Check bolts that hold it to the reduction drive for bending, rust, corrosion.
Check the prop spinner for cracks .

On aircraft using the Ultraprop, in a tractor configuration it is recommended that the prop spinner not be used, or be securely wired on.

Check the prop for proper diameter and pitch, for reference use the prop guide chart found in the CPS, Leaf, catalogues.

If the craft you are buying is going to be on floats make sure the prop has some kind of leading edge protection. Without leading edge protection your prop will be a wall ornament after the first take-off!

Ultralight Aircraft Props range in price from $150 to well over $1,000.