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Lending your plane for propeller testing


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Has anyone here ever given their plane to a propeller manufacturer for testing. I've had an inquiry from one of the propeller companies to borrow our plane for testing. It would obviously involve some compensation and maybe a new prop which would be nice. But I wonder how hard they're going to push the airplane and if it's worth it?  

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Good memory!  Seriously considering their offer.  I'll be unable to fly or a month...so it could be perfect.

Since I am TBO maybe do the reman when they are done.   I'm betting they will need to run it hard.l so they exercise the whole flight envelope.

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These opportunities have worked out pretty well for people around here...

For various pieces of hardware...

Still, somebody is going to be flying your plane...

T/O and climb are a big part of prop skills, as is max speed at all altitudes...

And the discount probably isn’t that big...

And the time they have it probably is pretty long...

But other than that....

Do you want their product?

Or would you rather have an MT?

Some people are much more comfortable with this type of opportunity... they have bigger  budgets, or are mechanics, or they really need the new prop and anything to make it happen...

Read all the documents twice... don’t get stuck by something you didn’t read very closely...

PP thoughts only, not a mechanic or lawyer...

Best regards,

 

-a-

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39 minutes ago, Boilermonkey said:

Has anyone here ever given their plane to a propeller manufacturer for testing. I've had an inquiry from one of the propeller companies to borrow our plane for testing. It would obviously involve some compensation and maybe a new prop which would be nice. But I wonder how hard they're going to push the airplane and if it's worth it?  

The person that purchased my former F model years ago was approached by Hartzell for the Top Prop [whoops, Scimitar :wacko:] on that model for testing.  They did used his plane, compensated and gave him the prop when done.    Pushing the plane, don't know about that, but highly doubt that. 

In fact, here it is...............a photo of the Scimitar on my former F.

https://propellerpartsmarket.com/mooney-propeller-new-scimitar-design/

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3 hours ago, Boilermonkey said:

Has anyone here ever given their plane to a propeller manufacturer for testing. I've had an inquiry from one of the propeller companies to borrow our plane for testing. It would obviously involve some compensation and maybe a new prop which would be nice. But I wonder how hard they're going to push the airplane and if it's worth it?  

What is the downside?

  • These are reputable companies with a history of safety and reliability
  • The testing will be likely be predetermined,  carefully controlled and highly instrumented
  • I believe your model has an O-360 - as long as they don't overheat it there is no operating range limitation
  • So what if they "push the plane" - it is designed to operate in it's category all day long as long as it is airworthy

This sounds like a windfall for you.

Only thing to check - make sure that the propeller manufacturer provides the insurance (full value replacement and all liability for any reason) for the entire time that it leaves your possession until return ( regardless if flown by a company or contract pilot or used in any ground testing or damaged in hangar or by weather, theft, etc).  Also make sure that your insurance agent is fully aware.

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If the plane was gone for a month and I possibly got a new 3 blade hartzell thin prop, I'd do it in a heart beat. The comparison isn't fair between the Hartzell and the McCauley. One has a design from before the 80's. The other was designed this century to put on the fastest certified piston single in the world. Which one do you want?

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My C310 was an F model and somehow was fitted with electrically deiced two blade McCaully props. When I inquired about 3 blade props for it, McCauly was intrigued that an F model had electric props and proposed using it for certification purposes for that conversion in exchange for a pair of the props for $10k. So I left it with them for a month or two (while I was checking out in the B744) in the winter of 1998(?). I don’t think they ever flew it, but just did a fit test.

It was a great deal for me until a couple years later the nose gear linkage failed on extension and I needed to land without it. On touchdown, I feathered both props and they both stopped 2 down and 1 up. When we eventually ended up on the nose(they roll a long time before it comes down) the down blades, of course, were in ground contact but amazingly 1 blade on each prop was still salvageable. The short blades went onto one prop, the long ones on the other. 
Of course, had they been 2 bladed, I might have gotten away unscathed.

Anyway, to the original question, yes loaning my plane to McCauly worked fine.

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General Aviation is a "hobby" that drains your bank account.....some planes more quickly than others!  Since you said your Lycoming is over TBO I assume that the prop has many hours on it.  I see in your pic that you already have converted to a 3 blade so overhaul would be about $2,000 per blade or about $6,000.  (And you have already accepted the future obligation of maintenance/overhaul of an extra blade).  Since you converted already you know that the install of a new 3 blade with spinner of any flavor will cost in the neighborhood of $15,000.  If you can get a "gift" of a new propeller that flies equal or better then why not?  You have saved at least $6,000 in overhaul and may have something with a longer life and reduced maintenance that is worth much more.

I wonder if IRS would make you claim this as (gift) income....  Maybe you could argue that they purchased your existing prop and it is barter compensation OF EQUAL VALUE because although you are getting a new prop, you are also assuming risk that it doesn't work out long term and therefore when combined it is of ZERO value IRS-wise.

Edited by 1980Mooney
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I was given the opportunity to loan my Comanche to S-Tec for certification of their new autopilot system.  Loss of use for 3 months with only a discount on the new autopilot wasn’t attractive to me.

Clarence

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7 hours ago, 1980Mooney said:

Since you converted already you know that the install of a new 3 blade with spinner of any flavor will cost in the neighborhood of $15,000.

I dont know how much new 3 blade aluminum but composite propellers are usually more expensive. 

Has anyone bought a brand new 3 blade aluminum propeller lately?

Screenshot_20210228-183404_Drive.jpg

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Just now, Tim Jodice said:

I dont know how much new 3 blade aluminum but composite propellers are usually more expensive. 

Has anyone bought a brand new 3 blade aluminum propeller lately?

Screenshot_20210228-183404_Drive.jpg

It was 12.4k when i checked last time. About 1 and a half years ago.

 

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I can't speak to props, but I did loan my plane to Garmin for the GFC 500 certification.   All in all it was a good experience and I came out the other end with a new AP.  Garmin provided insurance that matched the hull value of the insurance I was carrying. They of course flew the plane, which was all captured on Flight Aware.

 

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27 minutes ago, Tim Jodice said:

What model propeller? 

The same one that is probably going to be used for the bravo. Hartzell 3 blade top prop for the acclaim type S, ovation, and eagle.

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55 minutes ago, Boilermonkey said:

I’ll let you know how it turns out.  I plan to follow up this week.

I would do it. I had my information passed along to them but didn't hear back. I'm not sure how many planes they were given contact information for, I'm thinking that proximity to them plays a lot into their decisions. You're much closer than I am, I hope it works out for you and you get a new prop out of the deal.

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16 minutes ago, Skates97 said:

I'm thinking that proximity to them plays a lot into their decisions.

Yep, I'm thinking that's probably true.  As with my former F being loaned to Hartzel, one of the Hartzel [or maybe THE owner] owner's, had a hangar adjacent to the owner of the F model chosen for testing.  Darn!!  :(

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2 hours ago, Tim Jodice said:

I dont know how much new 3 blade aluminum but composite propellers are usually more expensive. 

Has anyone bought a brand new 3 blade aluminum propeller lately?

Screenshot_20210228-183404_Drive.jpg

I see that your quote is $15K before discount.  Is that a peak COVID lockdown discount or does MT give everyone on every prop a 10% discount?  Also here in "Low Tax Texas" we would get stuck with another 8.25% sales tax.....

Edited by 1980Mooney
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3 minutes ago, 1980Mooney said:

I see that your quote is $15K before discount.  Is that a peak COVID lockdown discount or does MT give everyone on every prop a 10% discount?  Also here in "Low Tax Texas" we would get stuck with another 8.25% sales tax.....

Usually when you buy out of state, theres no sales tax on it. If I were you, i'd probably buy the prop from texas and have it shipped to you. That should allow you to exclude tax.

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58 minutes ago, 1980Mooney said:

I see that your quote is $15K before discount.  Is that a peak COVID lockdown discount or does MT give everyone on every prop a 10% discount?  Also here in "Low Tax Texas" we would get stuck with another 8.25% sales tax.....

It is a Sun N Fun discount. 

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