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Manually Rotating Turboprops  
User currently offlineWestern727 From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 888 posts, RR: 4
Posted (15 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 4172 times:

At my local airport, I've noticed sometimes that the pilots of turboprops manually rotate the propeller. What is the purpose for this?

Jack @ AUS
9 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineLatechpilot From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (15 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 4128 times:

Direct drive turbo prop engines sometimes require this to remove residual heat from the engine because once the prop stops turning, so does the engine. When the pilot turns the prop, depending on the gear ratio, he is actually spinning the engine very fast. This helps move some of the heat out of the engine. This procedure is not necessary for turboprop engines with fluidic couplings because the engine is not attached to the prop, and therefore can spin down normally even after the prop has stopped turning.

User currently offlineA320FO From Austria, joined Oct 2000, 211 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (15 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 4120 times:

The propeller is rotated during the outside check, which involves checking the leading edges and the surface of the blades for damage. As far as heat removal is concerned, as Latechpilot mentioned, the engine manufacturers prescribe certain cool down times at idle thrust, which normally is sufficient.


User currently offlineCV640 From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 952 posts, RR: 5
Reply 3, posted (15 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 4110 times:

We are required to do this both before and after flight to check for damage on the Saab 340, I know of the Jetsream 31s requiring it for heat removal. Just depends on the manufacturer.

User currently offlineJohnM From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 376 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (15 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 4100 times:

A C-130 type told me that the reason that props are rotated after landing is to position the prop oil system drain plug "up", to avoid possible leakage. Any Herc guys out there to confirm this?

User currently offlineChdmcmanus From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 374 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (15 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 4068 times:

I'm not a Herc guy specifically, but I've worked enough of them to confirm JohnM. The military will also turn them to "dress" the props, which is an old tradition that comes from the days of wooden propellers. They were turned so that they were an "X" or vertical to help water runoff and prevent warping and rotting. Later the tradition was kept just to keep a neat and orderly appearance.


"Never trust a clean Crew Chief"
User currently offline242 From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 498 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (15 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 4061 times:

Prop inspection is part of a normal pre-flight. The blades are looked at for wear, condition, security in the hub, oil leaks, abnormal play etc.. Rotating the prop through a few times can also indicate hot section problems like turbine blades rubbing the case, depending on the type of engine, of course.

User currently offlineTwotterwrench From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (15 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 4060 times:

The purpose for the C-130 is as stated. The propellor hub has a vent that is adjacent to the #2 blade of the propellor. Under normal circumstances, this valve doesn't leak when the prop is static. However, as it wears, it will leak, so the #2 blade is placed on top to prevent the prop oil from leaking out of the propellor. When the prop is rotating, cetripigal force keeps the oil slung against the outside of the hub and therefore won't let it leak out of the vent. This is true of any aircraft running the Alison 501... ie Electra, CV-580, etc.

The purpose of turning props on Garret 331 powered aircraft is twofold.. 1 to cool the turbine... 2 to scavenge hot oil from the #4 bearing to keep it from coking. Should pull at least 24 blades through right after shut down for proper scavenge.

User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 30410 posts, RR: 57
Reply 8, posted (15 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 4051 times:

One more thought on dressing the props.....

In the Metro service manuals(If I remember correctly) it states that you place the props so that the blades are in a '+' position. That way if it rains any water that might accumulate will drain throught the opening for the prop blade on the bottom.

I remember reading that on the wartime Martin B-26 bomber you placed the props in an 'x'. That was in case the nosegear strut collaped the prop wouldn't strike the ground. Of course aircraft nowadays are supposed to be certifed with enough clearance so that a prop will not strike the ground in the case of a flat strut and tire on the landing gear.

User currently offlineT prop From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 1045 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (15 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 4047 times:

On the Garrett TPE331's we were trained to spin the props after shutdown to get cooling air flowing through the engine, this was done right after shutdown. Half an hour after we did the prop spins we had go back out to the aircraft and rotate the propellers one blade width. Moving the prop one blade width rotated the engine one half turn, this was to prevent the shaft from sagging as the engine cooled causing turbine blades to rub.

T prop.

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