Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What pitch and diameter will work best with my airplane?
  2. What are the advantages of a multi-blade (3 or 4 blade) prop?
  3. How do I determine when the blades can no longer be used?
  4. How do I properly maintain my SOLO propeller?
  5. Do I need to balance my propeller?
  6. Is a specific torque really necessary when securing the prop nut?
  7. Should I check the tracking on my SOLO Prop?
  8. Why is there be a gap between my hub halves?
  9. Can I replace just one blade on any Solo propeller?
  10. My prop is vibrating at certain speeds, how do I stop it?
  11. Do the letters on the root of the blades mean anything?

What pitch and diameter will work best with my airplane?
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It is impossible to provide a chart that shows the optimum propeller set-up for your airplane. Similar airplanes produce varying results with the same propeller and engine. To get an idea of which propeller would work best, refer to the Prop Option Chart and then experiment with the pitch. This is one of the advantages of the adjustable pitch propeller as one propeller will work on a variety of aircraft and can be adjusted for optimum performance.
What are the advantages of a multi-blade (3 or 4 blade) prop?
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Replacing a 2 blade prop with a multi blade propeller allows you to use a finer pitch setting in the same diameter, or a smaller diameter with the original pitch. This provides added ground and airframe clearance, and a wider variance in pitch settings. Also in many cases multi blade props dampen existing engine vibrations.
How do I determine when the blades can no longer be used?
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You should inspect your prop blades before each flight for nicks and cracks as well as damage to the finish. Minute nicks may be sanded smooth although any bare wood should be refinished with a waterproof clear coat, to maintain the vapor barrier. If any cracks, or larger nicks are present, the blade should be replaced. Also, ensure that the root of the propeller hasn't been crushed or damaged. When there is no gap between the hub halves, the root has most likely been damaged from over tightening. When a blade or blades strike the ground, no matter how lightly a complete inspection of all blades is required for any cracks or damage. If ANY damage is found, DO NOT FLY with the propeller and replace the blades immediately as this can be very dangerous and potentially fatal to you, spectators and the aircraft
How do I properly maintain my Solo propeller?
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Here are some suggestions that will prolong the life of your SOLO Propeller. To begin with, regular waxing of the blades will help protect the high gloss finish and maintain a moisture barrier for the wood core. As well, whenever you are storing your airplane turn the prop horizontal on a two blade propeller. On a three blade leave one of the blades vertical and rotate it frequently. This helps keep the blades precision balanced, as any moisture that they may have accumulated will be distributed evenly. If the plane is going to be stored for a long period of time, remove the propeller and place it horizontal with the face up, out of direct sunlight and in a dry area. Use a light oil between the hub and the dial and grease the actuator frequently with lithium or white grease. Renew the hub's luster using an aluminum polish.
Do I need to balance my propeller?
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All propellers have been balanced to +/- .05g at the tips, before they leave the factory. If the propeller unit has been altered in any way, the unit should be re-balanced using a proper balance machine. If the propeller appears to be out of balance, check that the balance codes are the same on all the blades. Contact us for advice on rebalancing.
Is a specific torque really necessary when securing the prop nut?
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Yes, proper torque is extremely important. The specific torque given in the operating and assembly instructions, provides the maximum grip on the propeller blades without damaging the root. If the nut is under tightened the blades may slip and change pitch. If the nut is over tightened the root will be damaged and the integrity of the blade will be destroyed. In extreme cases this may result in blade failure, posing a very serious danger to the operator and spectators.
Should I check the tracking on my Solo Prop?
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Yes, a propeller with poor tracking will result in rough engine operation and poor performance. Check that the tracking is within +/- 1/16" while installed on the airplane. If the tracking is only slightly out, try applying pressure in the applicable direction while tightening the hub bolts. Possible causes of poor tracking may be a bent crankshaft, defective propeller mounting flange, or damaged blades.
Why is there a gap between my hub halves?
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In order to provide proper grip on the prop root, there must be a space between the hub halves. Do not torque the bolts to a point where the gap disappears. This is extremely important. Tighten the prop nut only to the specified torque . Over-tightening will result in damaged propeller blades that have the potential to fail.
Can I replace just one blade on any Solo propeller?
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Yes, as long as the propeller is less than two years old, we can ship a replacement blade that matches your balance code found at the end of the blade root. If the propeller is more than two years old, it is necessary to ship us your current blade(s) to balance the propeller precisely.
My prop is vibrating at certain speeds, how do I stop it?
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This could be caused by several problems but start by double checking your tracking (tolerance of +/-1/16"). Next, check the pitch of your prop (variance from blade to blade should not be more than ½ degree). If you have altered your propeller in anyway, it is necessary to recheck the balancing. If no problems are found, the vibrations are most likely a result of an engine and/or reduction drive imbalance. In this case, installing a three blade propeller may help to dampen the vibrations.
Do the letters on the root of my blades mean anything?
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The letter(s) on the root of your blades are balancing reference codes. They enable us to ship you a new SOLO blade that is already balanced to match your existing blades. If your propeller is more than two years old, it is necessary to return all the blades to match them precisely. Do not use a propeller with different balance codes on any of the blades.