How to attach a prop to an RC motor

Written by william mccoy
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How to attach a prop to an RC motor
Attaching a propeller to your RC aeroplane requires basic tools. (Rc plane about to take off image by macegraphics from Fotolia.com)

Building and flying remote control aeroplanes is a common hobby across North America. Many communities have clubs in which members gather to fly their homemade aeroplanes. Most RC aeroplanes are built from kits sold at hobby stores, while some are assembled from scratch. You need to attach a propeller to your plane as you're building it. When a propeller is damaged during a minor crash, you can remove it and add a new one.

Skill level:
Easy

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Measure the diameter of the remote control aeroplane's propeller shaft with a digital caliper and compare it with the hole on your propeller. If the hole and shaft diameters are equal, the propeller can be installed. If the propeller hole is too small (propeller manufacturers often err on the side of caution and make prop holes small), the hole will have to be widened.

  2. 2

    Select a drill bit that corresponds with the size of the aeroplane's propeller shaft. Mount the drill bit in your drill press.

  3. 3

    Clamp the propeller to the centre of your drill press table and lower the drill bit to the hole to ensure everything lines up. It is crucial to use a drill bit to ensure a smooth hole is drilled perpendicular to the propeller blades. If the hole is off-centre or not square, the propeller will not turn correctly and your aeroplane will crash. Drill the hole.

  4. 4

    Remove the nut on the end of the propeller shaft with an appropriate-sized wrench. Often, small wrenches are sold with remote control engines. If this isn't the case with your engine, simply use any wrench that fits the nut.

  5. 5

    Slide the propeller onto the propeller shaft, making sure it rubs up against the back plate close to the engine. The propeller should be installed with its lettering facing away from the body of the aeroplane.

  6. 6

    Tighten the nut back into position against the propeller. Do not over-tighten the nut and risk stripping the propeller shaft. If this happens, you will have to replace the shaft.

Tips and warnings

  • If your aeroplane requires a propeller spinner (a cone-like device that sits on the end of the propeller shaft), install it according to the manufacturer's instructions. It should not be tightened right down onto the propeller, but rather should be left a fraction of an inch away from the blade.

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