Propeller Balancing for Your PW100 Engine

By Pratt & Whitney Customer Service

Regular propeller balancing is crucial to the health and performance of your PW100 aircraft engine, much like performing a wheel alignment on your car. Maintain a balanced propeller and limit costly engine removals by keeping the following in mind.

Beware of Uncomfortable Vibrations

An improperly balanced aircraft propeller can cause vibrations that will be felt in the passenger cabin. These propellers are designed for lower-altitude, lower-thrust operations. Exposing them to debris and normal wear and tear gradually affects balance. As the propeller becomes more unbalanced over time, the vibrations will become stronger and will make flying tiring and uncomfortable. Regular PW100 propeller balancing can alleviate this problem.

More Vibration = More Wear

It’s not just a question of comfort. Excessive vibration may lead to premature wear of bearings, brackets and other elements, requiring them to be replaced in the shop. Low-frequency vibrations can wear out the O-rings in connecting ducts between the engine and aircraft air system. As a result, you may find the engine running hotter. This will ultimately lead to hot-section components wearing out earlier than usual and reduce your engine’s overall life.

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Regular Checks and Balances

To avoid these issues, it’s a good idea to have your propellers assessed routinely. Typically, that means approximately every 1,000 hours of flying time. If a propeller is vibrating too much, then you should have it balanced, following the manufacturer’s procedure.

Smaller PW100 engines with four propeller blades may need more frequent propeller balancing than six-bladed propellers on larger PW100 and PW150 engines. Aircraft that operate in harsh environments, such as those that frequently land and take off on unpaved runways, may also need more careful monitoring. Since they kick up stones, this can cause damage to propeller blades.


The bottom line? When performing PW100 propeller balancing properly to reduce vibration on a regular basis, engine durability increases, maintenance costs drop and a more comfortable passenger experience is assured. New technology developed by P&WC is set to make propeller assessment easier than ever. Read all about this new solution, already available for P&WC-powered ATR and Bombardier Q400 aircraft.