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Topic-icon OH of steel hub props on Apache?

  • OLIVEROF
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8 months 1 week ago #1029

Hi All,

In a few months I will need to OH the steel hub props of my 1961 Apache. Quotes am getting are from 8,000 Euros ($8,500) to 11,000 Euros for both. Would really appreciate inputs on two questions:

Has anyone completed this at a more cost effective maintenance shop? Suggestion?
My other option is to replace them with new STC props with 6 year TBO but lower OH costs later on. Anyone has completed this and were you satisfied with the solution?

Thanks for the inputs.

Best regards,
Francisco

Last Edit: 8 months 1 week ago by OLIVEROF.

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8 months 1 week ago #1032

Hi Francisco;
Francisco
I suspect you're overhauling your propellers for compliance with airworthiness directive (AD) 97-18-02 R1. This AD says: ”Initially perform a fluorescent dye penetrant and eddy current inspection of the blade, an optical comparator inspection of the blade retention area, a dye penetrant inspection of the blade internal bearing bore, and a visual and magnetic particle inspection of the blade clamp and of the hub.”
After the initial inspection the AD further requires additional inspections. “Thereafter, perform repetitive fluorescent dye penetrant and eddy current inspection of the blade, an optical comparator inspection of the blade retention area, and a visual and magnetic particle inspection of the blade clamp. The repetitive inspection is required at intervals not to exceed 500 hours TIS or 60 calendar months, whichever occurs first, since last inspection. (3) Thereafter, perform repetitive dye penetrant inspections of the blade internal bearing bore. This repetitive blade internal bearing bore inspection is required at intervals not to exceed 60 calendar months since last inspection.”
Compliance cannot be done in the field as all except the most minor servicing of propellers must be done by an approved propeller repair station. Therefore, both props have to be removed for this inspection.
I don’t know exactly which Apache you fly so for some rough numbers I contacted American Propeller. American is the prop shop I use. I asked for the overhaul cost of the steel hub prop installed on a PA 23-250. I believe that prop model is Hartzell HC-82XK-2C1. The flat rate provided by American for overhauling a non-icing equipped prop is $4,712 USD. Therefore, the cost to overhaul both of your props at American is approximately $9,424 USD plus freight costs.
That’s about 20 percent less than the cost you were quoted.
I’d suggest you contact other prop shops to see if you can get a lower price.
Hartzell recommended service centers in Europe are shown on the Hartzell website ( www.HartzellProp.com ) under "Services" then under "Overhaul and Repair Services" Then under "Recommended Service Facilities"
There's one in England, one if France and two in Germany.

I then asked American how much it would cost to replace both steel hub props with two new Hartzell aluminum hub propellers. This STC approved retrofit is part of Hartzell’s “Top Prop” program. I was quoted $24,300 USD for two props, STC paperwork, and new spinner assemblies.
As I said I guessed that your fly a PA23-250. If you fly a different model, the prices may vary. You will be able to determine if there’s a Top Prop replacement kit for your airplane at www.Hartzellprop.com/TopProp .
In conclusion, installing new aluminum hub props will cost more than twice as much as overhauling your steel hub propellers. However, the new aluminum hub props come with a long warranty and unlike your steel hub props, to the best of my knowledge aren’t affected by any recurring AD notes.
Happy Flying

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8 months 1 week ago #1037

Greetings Steve,

First of all, thank you very much for taking the time for such a great amount of input. It is truly appreciated and thank you for your interest and guidance. The aircraft I currently have is an Apache PA23-150, not the PA23-250 version, which I believe is the Aztec. The props I have are GC-82VL-2C1. I do appreciate your inputs regarding American Propeller. Thank you again for all the details. Further thoughts are welcomed and appreciated! :cheer:

Safe flying and all the best!!!

Francisco

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