When it comes to aircraft propellers, Hartzell Propeller has over 100 years of knowledge and expertise. So, when people come to us with questions about their props, we’re always happy to help — no matter the topic!

Today, we’re sharing the answers to a few of the most common aircraft propeller questions we receive at Hartzell:

What are the advantages of composite propeller blades?
At Hartzell, our structural composite blades offer a substantial weight reduction over aluminum propeller blades. The nature of composite materials makes it possible to create thin, efficient airfoils that are still strong enough to withstand extreme forces in flight. A lightweight composite aircraft propeller may contribute to noise and vibration reduction, less wear on the engine, and better fuel efficiency.

Hartzell’s composite propeller blades also feature a longer service life and the ability to maintain a more optimum airfoil shape over the service life of the blade.

Are three (or more) aircraft propeller blades better than two?
The short answer is, it depends! Generally speaking, 2-blade propellers are slightly more efficient. However, efficiency doesn’t propel an airplane; thrust does. As engine power increases, additional blades are often required to efficiently utilize the increased power and produce thrust.

If appropriate for the airplane, additional propeller blades can also help to reduce cabin noise and vibration, plus enhance the overall ramp appeal.

Should I polish my propeller blades?
We highly discourage polishing your aluminum propeller blades. Stripping and polishing the blades removes the protective paint and anodize layer, which can lead to harmful corrosion. Polishing the blades will also void the industry-leading warranty on new Top Prop propellers. If the paint on your Hartzell propeller is beginning to show signs of wear, touch it up with an approved paint or visit a prop shop for a “dress and paint” as needed.

When should I overhaul my prop?
The TBO limits published by your propeller manufacturer are intended to protect your safety and the performance of your aircraft. These overhaul intervals are expressed in either flight hours or calendar time, whichever comes first. Following Hartzell’s published overhaul limits will ensure that any problems within your propeller are identified early, ideally while they’re still easily repairable!

Do you have a question about your aircraft propeller?
Whether you have a technical question, an airplane propeller overhaul or repair inquiry, or you’re wondering which Top Prop propeller conversion is right for your airplane, Hartzell Propeller’s experts are here to help.