Dynamic Propeller Balance

To get the conversation started, I’m pleased to present my thoughts on one of the most often overlooked, least expensive and most beneficial things you can do for your airplane: a Dynamic Propeller Balance.

We believe in this preventative maintenance procedure so strongly that we offer to double the warranty period (from 12 months to 24 months) for any PFS Customer who gets their propeller “dynamically” (that means balanced while the prop is ON the airplane WITH the engine running) within 25 flight hours (before or after) of the Power Flow installation.

BUT having it done regularly is a GREAT idea for ANY airplane – whether or not it has a Power Flow System installed.

I’ve had many Customers who have recently purchased a new propeller (or had their current one overhauled) tell me that the manufacturer or prop shop balanced the propeller before shipping it to them and that their engine is nice and smooth, so they don’t see the benefit in having the prop dynamically balanced.

My response is always the same: I am sure that you were shipped an expertly made and finely balanced propeller. Once it is installed on your airplane, though, all bets are off! It’s the difference between the old bubble machines they used to use for pre-balancing your car tires and the new computerized systems that spin balance the tires to within a couple of hundredths of a degree.

A dynamic propeller balance essentially spin balances the propeller on your airplane and eliminates about 99.95% of the vibration resulting from any unbalanced components of the entire power-plant. It is important to note that the most damaging vibrations are at frequencies that humans cannot feel, so even if your engine seems smooth, there is a good chance that component damaging vibration IS occurring. The ONLY way to eliminate that vibration is by having the propeller dynamically balanced ON the airplane, WITH the engine running.

Having the entire test performed and the correcting weights applies (usually in the form of washers installed under the prop bolts) typically takes only a couple of hours and costs about $225.00. In light of the fact that the procedure will greatly increase the life span and the reliability of EVERY component that is bolted to your engine (not just the Power Flow System), it is one of the cheapest and most cost-effective forms of insurance you can buy.

Several of those same doubting-Thomas’s have called me up after having the procedure done on their airplane to tell me they couldn’t believe the difference it made in the vibration level inside the cockpit and throughout the airframe.

Questions or comments? We’d love to hear from you! Click here to connect with us.

-Jim Shafer

One thought on “Dynamic Propeller Balance

  1. Robert Laskin

    Just read your prop balance piece and could’nt agree more. I’m an A&P of 38 years based in Millville NJ. I do balances with an Aces TEC model 1700. Just did a grumman Tiger down to .01 IPS. I always balance down to as low as I can get. Any one interested in a balance should contact me via e mail rlaskin@bbaaviation.net. I charge 200 to 300 depending on accessability.


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