Prop Swap

Change the prop or install a prop saver on your ultra micro RC airplane

I am going to cover how to change your prop or change to a prop saver on a Parkzone Ultra Micro Sukhoi, and Ultra Micro P-51 Mustang. There'll be some tips and tricks to look for during your prop change out, and I'll describe some advantages of changing from a stock prop to an aftermarket one.

First things first. Although the motor and prop on the Parkzone Sukhoi are very small, safety comes first. Clear a flat usable area on yuor workbench, make sure you disconnect the battery, and remove all distractions.

Next, use a small pair of needle nose plyers to hold the prop main drive shaft in place while you thread the old prop off. With the plane facing you, spin the old prop counter clockwise until it falls off.

Take a close look at things; check the drive gears for chips or foreign debris, check the main shaft for trueness, and inspect the shaft threads for damage.

If all systems check out and meet your standards, it's time to continue. If you're installing a factory prop make sure the numbers are facing forward. If you're installing a prop saver, make sure the bumps on the prop saver are pointed to the back of the aircraft.

I like to use an angled pair of needle nose to hold the main prop shaft with the pliers angled out of the way. Starting the threads with pliers in the way in next to impossible. With the plane facing you, turn the prop clockwise to thread the new prop on. At this time you will want to make sure the prop is perpendicular to the prop shaft. If the new prop threads on crooked (this is called cross threaded) it can cause the prop to vibrate, be out of phase, and simply not be 100% of what it should be.

After I am sure the prop or prop saver has been properly threaded on the first few threads, I put a little dollop of Epoxy, or CA glue, on the remaining prop drive shaft threads. I just use a a very small amount to keep the prop from driving itself further on or off. Now continue to thread the prop on the rest of the way.

On my Sukhoi I keep threading the prop on until there are no remaining threads showing. Be careful, because if you thread yours on too far onto the prop drive shaft the prop may rub against the fuselage during flight, costing you power.

If you're threading on a new stock prop you probably got a new nose cone. Use a dab of hot glue to hold this lil guy in place, and you're done.

If you were installing a prop saver, now it's time to install the prop. Make sure you threaded the prop saver with the bumps pointed to the rear of the aircraft. Next, point the plane straight up in a vertical climb position. With the prop numbers facing forward, set the prop on the prop saver, and push the prop on to the prop saver just a tad. Now align the prop perpendicular to the prop saver, and firmly but carefully push the prop onto the prop saver, until they rest against one another.

Now install the rubber bands. I took a small paper clip and made a letter L out of it. Once I hook one side of the prop saver I use the L tool to pull the rubber band over the prop and back onto the prop saver's opposing side. Repeat this step with the other rubber band on the opposite side of the prop as seen in the picture.

Everyone's flying style is unique. Some like to just go fast, some prefer to look good getting there. Me, I like a balance of both. When I first got my lil Sukhoi I found it to be very maneuverable, but just not quite fast enough. Utilizing a prop saver like this allows for more prop choices, and improved longevity in the prop. I found the GWS 5043 prop to work very well with my Sukhoi. I'll try the GWS 5030 prop next, as suggested on some blogs, and report back on it. I found the stock props to be a bit too long. On a steep landing they would break off, and required pretty frequent replacement. When I fly without the landing gear and do belly landings, the flexibility of the prop saver is a bank account saver as well.

NEW! Get your prop saver and a sturdy GWS prop direct from RCFunlab. The Prop Saver Mod Kit has all four simple parts you need for this rewarding propeller modification; 1 prop saver, 1 GWS propeller, and two rubber bands the perfect size to hold them together. Hop up your Sukhoi or Mustang for hardly any dough!

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