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Old 12-06-2017, 01:40 PM   #1
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Default Which propellor flange thickness?

I am looking for an IO-540 for my project. While I donít intend on doing hard aerobatics with it I want to have some capability. What is the prop flange thickness on an AEIO-540? Is .380(?) sufficient or should I look hard for a .440?

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Old 12-06-2017, 05:36 PM   #2
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Depends on the prop you will run. The old metal 2-blade Hartzel will put more stress on the flange than say a 3-blade composite prop like MT or Whirlwind. You are probably fine with a 0.380 flange unless you're running the metal 2-blade Hartzel prop. As a point of reference I just did a rebuild on my IO-540 and opted to swap a good reconditioned 0.380 crank for a new 0.440 crank. The price difference was $5,000 so I'd think the price difference on used engines with 0.380 vs 0.440 crank would be around $3,000 - $4,000 or so, all other things being equal.


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Old 12-06-2017, 05:52 PM   #3
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Thanks, good to know. This will be a Whirlwind prop
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Old 12-06-2017, 06:51 PM   #4
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Default Crank

With the Hartzell two blade there were still failures with the heavy crank.
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Old 12-06-2017, 07:04 PM   #5
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Jim,

Did the flange fail or was it the shaft itself?
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Old 12-07-2017, 01:50 AM   #6
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I recall a recent thread where Jim detailed the entire history of flange failures.

My take is it depends on propeller choice and how it is flown. Hi speed snap rolls can damage anything.
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Old 12-07-2017, 03:22 PM   #7
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Default Crank

I can't really correlate any date when the AE engines switched to the heavy flange to any failures. Tom Jones lost the prop and crashed doing an airshow in the S1T. Hartzell prop. Tom had just gotten the SU26 when he crashed fatally in June 1990. I can't remember if he had another airplane between the T and the Sukhoi but I think he did.
John Lilberg lost the prop on a near new S2B while in a flat spin. I think the airplane had 300 hours since new. It got a factory new engine and was traded to Pompano for an Extra. The new crank was found cracked on 100 hour and the engine was replaced again. I flew the airplane some for two years but it was not the primary S2B used for training.
The primary S2B was approaching 1400 hours when I left Pompano. LOTS of flat spins, some torque rolls, lomcevaks and high speed snaps. That airplane was also rented out at the Sebring contests, maybe as many as 10 pilots in one contest. No crank problems with that airplane.
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Old 12-07-2017, 03:54 PM   #8
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We had two crank cracks on two separate solid flange .38'' shafts on a factory kit built S2S in 1980. Engines prematurely failed for other internal reasons within 10/30 hours. Only test flight akro before engine failures so no heavy gyro maneuvers. In this case both engines came from first or second run Piper Comanches which used the I0-540-D4A5. We got engines back then from a Lycoming distributor in Memphis. My guess is back in the day before mandatory tear downs during gear up landings or prop strikes I'm thinking both engines (or shafts anyway) came from a background of some type of ground strike and, later, even the mild akro with the Hartzell aluminum two blade S2S/S2B propeller caused cracks to appear earlier than later. Neither engine or shafts were new manufacture in this case.

Both overhauls were done by a reputable shop in the Dallas area and we all personally knew everyone there including their NDT tech. No one doubted his inspection ability or equipment but the local FSDO did run a spot check of their shop and found no discrepancies with the shop's equipment, testing procedures, or personnel.

I had a similar crack in an I0-360-A1A in my first Pitts. No flange cracks even though it was the standard lightening hole crank only available at the time. I did know where the engine came from. It was a spare engine for a corporate Beech Travelair BE-95. No logs came with the engine but I suspect that particular engine was also a victim of a prop strike/gear up type damage in it's past.

Similarities in all three instances were that two blade propellers were used on the shafts during their previous runs and all cracks were in the radius from the flange to the crank in line with the index dowel which meant the cracks were in line with each propeller blade.


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