How to Balance Propellers


Here is a simple tutorial on balancing propellers (props) with the equipment we have in lab. Balancing props is incredibly important; if you don’t do it, you’ll have excess vibration in your flight. That’s not a fun time.time.

There are plenty of online videos and tutorials you can find with a quick google search. Some are mentioned on the bottom.


Safety warnings

  • If you are working with carbon fiber props (which most of the props we have are), WEAR A FACE MASK. You don’t want to be inhaling carbon fiber dust. That is also not a fun time.

Materials

  • Your propellers
  • Top Flite Power Point Prop Balancer (located on shelf of aerial equipment; location liable to change)
  • Fine grit sandpaper (preferably 220 grit or higher)

Procedure

Blade balancing:

  1. Attach your propeller to the prop balancer, with the wider stoppers facing inward (see image).
  2. Test the balance of the propeller by placing it horizontally and letting it rotate. The side that falls is the heavier blade.
  3. Sand the bottom of the heavier blade. Be sure to only sand the flat surfaces, not the edges, as that will mess up the flight dynamics. Do not take of too much; all you want is perhaps 5 seconds worth of sanding at a time.
    1. Although we recommend using at least 220 grit sand paper, you may find the lab to be in short supply of it. If you must resort to coarser 150 grit, that is fine, just take off even less.
    2. The farther you sand from the center, the more significant the effect on balancing.
  4. Check the balance by placing it horizontally again on the balancer. You’ll be getting closer as the propeller takes a longer time settle vertically.
  5. You’ll have to repeat this process many times, so have patience. Try to get as close to perfectly balanced as you can. You’ll have achieved balance when the propeller stays completely vertical. BE SURE TO CHECK BOTH SIDES.

Hub balancing (optional):

  1. If you are going for a very well balanced propeller, you’ll want to balance the hub (center of the prop) as well. With smaller projects
  2. Place the blade vertically on the balancer. The blade that falls tells you that that side of the hub is heavier.
  3. You can choose to either sand the heavier side of the hub (which may ruin the structural integrity of the prop) or add weight to the lighter side with a few drops of CA glue. Be conservative with your additions.
  4. It will be completely balanced when it does not move no matter the orientation you set the prop in.

Other notes/See also

Videos on balancing props: http://flitetest.com/articles/how-to-simple-propeller-balancing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VR1EmOtxnmA

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Aerial | Tutorial | Propellers |