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My constant speed propeller hub before being sent out for an overhaul. Note the balancing weights circled in black. Also note the marks on the components so when reassemble the parts are re-installed at the same location on the crank shaft.

What is Dynamic Balancing and how is it done?

People ask me about how my propeller was balanced. I've seen it done but I never have the answer so after my prop was returned from overhaul I brought my camera so I could capture some of the process. The audio isn't great but here is the video I shot.

What do I know about the process? Very little. I've watched my prop being balanced twice so I like to think I know more than nothing.

  • Why get the propeller balanced?
    • An out of balance prop causes the entire airframe to vibrate and over a long period of time causes damage  to most everything including cracks in the engine case and motor mount to the surface skin.
  • When is a propeller balance needed?
    • Anytime changes are made to the propeller, spinner or engine. My friend told me about a prop being thrown out of balance by adding prop guard. Some people just just do it every 2 or 3 years.
  • How long does it take to balance a propeller?
    • Two or three hours.
  • Can you notice a difference after the balance?
    • Oh yes. Never felt I had a problem but what a difference afterwards.
  • How much does it cost?
    • Less than a tank of fuel for my Super Viking.

Questions to ask the balancer:

  • Do you balance the prop ON the airplane?
    • A prop needs to be balanced on the airplane when all the parts working together.
  • What type of balance do you do?
    • You'll want to hear the word Dynamic.
  • Do you have the proper weights for my model propeller?
    • If they are going to drill a hole in the bulkhead and add a bolt with a nut and washers run!  The hole and weight on the bulkhead will cause it to crack within a few years. On my plane that's a $700 part plus paint and labor.

I asked a very competent mechanic for a referral and without hesitation he gave me a phone number for Jim Fackler Dynamics. Jim is an A&P and does balancing only, it's not a side job. Jim is based in SoCal and he comes to you.

Jim Fackler Dynamics
Southern California

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Last Updated
September 22, 2010

Copyright 2006
Frank Holbert
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