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Wood verses composite props

Posted By:
Luke Bernard
#1 Posted: 2/13/2011 00:15:27

I will be using a Rotax 503 and I was wondering which would be the better prop, wood or composite.  Anyone have any thoughts please.

Fred Sibley
Homebuilder or Craftsman
#2 Posted: 2/18/2011 10:46:00 Modified: 2/18/2011 10:47:29

planeladder.jpgI have trashed many wooden props in my Weedhopper . They come apart very easyly when they hit the dirt. but i think that this protects the crank shaft from damage. also wood props are a little lighter and cheaper to replace.  the word is that don't deform as much as a composite prop thereby putting more hp into thrust. The boys At Tennessee prop are very helpfull   fred eaa818891   aopa01400646


Dave Prizio
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerHomebuilder or Craftsman
#3 Posted: 2/18/2011 10:58:12

I do not think that there is any inherent structural advantage to using wood rather composites for props, and I can't attest to the relative benefits of using one or the other for trimming trees. It is more likely that composite props are stronger than wood, but that is really function of the particular design.

Composites do offer the benefit of being more stable in changing weather than wood. A wood prop needs to be protected from rain and snow when stored outside. It will also need to be re-torqued at least twice a year. Composite props do not have these problems. You can also get ground adjustable composite props that will allow you to change the pitch of the prop to suit your needs. Wood props can't offer this feature.

Both materials work well enough. Wood is prettier, IMHO, but requires more work to keep it in flyable condition. It is really just a matter of personal preference.