Changing from Neuform to Kiev Propeller on an Ikarus C42A

This is a reflection of how I went about changing the propeller, it is not meant as a "how to" and no liability will be taken form any issue others may have by following this post!

We made the decision to change the original Neuform Propeller after noticing some hairline cracks across the back of the prop. This together with an accumulation of small chips meant  it was highly unlikely to pass a factory inspection, thus the prudent thing to do was to change the prop. 

Neuform Props are very good, but expensive props, so we chose to replace it with a Kiev which at the time of writing was around £1,000 less.

The first stage is to remove the top cowling, we also later removed the bottom one too, to allow us to have a good look around at the same time. This proved to be a prudent thing to do as we found our radiator bracket was broken too!

Next remove the spinner, a tip here which some may not know, is to hold the allen key bolt and undo the nyloc nut with the spanner, else you may start to round the allen key head.

NB: I found out the hard way, that you should mark the back of the spinner plate and the flange to ensure the spinner goes back on in the correct position!

Now we need  to remove the old prop by undoing the six M8 retaining bolts. These are the long ones which screw through into the flange.

After these are removed the propeller will come off still clamped in the hub.

The prop with its adaptor plate is now removed.


Removing the the lugs

Now for the  “fun” part, removing the lugs from the flange.

The lugs are used by both Neuform and Warp drive props, but not by Kiev props.

These lugs are press fit and difficult to remove. First spray them with AC50 and then  have a cup of tea while this goes to work!

The best way we found to remove them safely  is to use an M8 bolt through a 17mm socket, this acts a puller and pulls the lugs back through the flange plate without damage or shocking the gearbox.

Once they are almost through they will easily tap out.,

Fitting the new prop

First lay the prop out and loosely clamp the prop blades in the hub. Ensure the key marks are aligned (see image) this is just tight enough to hold it all together, while we loosely bolt the prop on to the flange using the new adaptor. Note the new adaptor plate can only be purchased from TLAC  and was around £120.00 inc VAT.

The bolts to hold the prop on are 110mm long if you purchase the correct ones. However  using these bolts mean they have 25mm of thread and about 12mm of this thread is  within the flange plate holes. This is not good engineering practice and after checking with the BMAA they agreed. The solution is to buy the next size up (120mm) and cut them down by 10mm thus giving 15mm of thread which means you will have about 3 threads out of the Nyloc and much less thread within the flange.

The bolts we used are M8 grade 8.8, DIN 931 120mm, cut to 110mm.

Once the prop is mounted and all the bolts are in, but not tight, they should be loose enough to allow the blades to be turned within the hub, but tight enough to stop them moving to easily.

Now the pitch can be set. We have found mounting the the pitch tool 48.5cm in from the tip on the inside of the mark and setting a pitch of 25 degrees gives the correct revs, 4,800 rpm on the ground. this TLAC confirm to be the correct test that the prop is pitched correctly. 

Work your way around all the blades in turn setting the pitch.

Carefully do the bolts up working your way around the opposite  bolts that clamp the blades first.  These should be be done up to a torque of 15Nm. Now before doing up the main bolts recheck, loosen and adjust and re tighten as needed the pitch for each blade. 

Lastly do up the mounting bolts that go through the flange, again do this progressively working across the opposites, these are torqued up to 25Nm,  then once again check the pitch and adjust the pitch if needed.

All that is left is to ground run the aircraft. Check your static full power rpm is 4,800 rpm +/- 50 rpm, our brakes don’t hold at this power so we check that we get this during the takeoff.

The torque of all the bolts need to be checked at 1hr, 25hrs and 50hrs after fitting the new prop.

I hope this has will help others, even if it doesn’t it will serve as reminder to myself if I have to do a third prop conversion!

Lastly you will need a BMAA inspector to sign your change of information form.


The BMAA Flying Show 2014

This year the flying show was held at Telford which for me is further to travel, on arriving at the show we saw a sign for “PATS Open day” but continued on as the Satnav said too and there was no mention of the flying show, however at the roundabout there was a flying show sign directing us back to where we had just come from! Parking at the show this year was more reasonable at £4.00 last year at the NEC we paid £10.00, the walk from the car park was also a lot shorter.

Our first stop was the careering area at the back of the hall where we all had a breakfast roll and coffee.

The show filled the hall where as at the NEC there was space left. Two notable absences from the show this year were no Eurostars EV-97’s on display and no flying area for models.

This year eGo  was at the show, which is an interesting SSDR, which I have mentioned in other posts, it has recently gone into production with the first production build aircraft said to be due soon. The display model was a little battered in places, but as the sign next to it read “I May not look my best at the moment, but I am a hard-working development and test aircraft” we chatted a little while with Adrian Hillcoat, Chief Executive Officer and Director at eGo who talked about the glass cockpit, the handling of eGo and the easy of flying it and how they will help owners transition to the eGo. It looked a lot small then I expected but a lot of fun too, I look forward to seeing them flying around.

We moved on looking at many stands and talking to many people, too many to include all of them here! We spoke for a while with the guys at CFS Aero who have recently been appointed a Rotax distributer, We asked them about a recent post I did relating to turning the engine backwards and the potential damage it could cause, they said they will investigate and let us know, so I hope to be able to update that blog soon!

We stopped to look at the C42s on display by Red-Air UK and spoke to Malcolm Stewart, we took the opportunity ask if when keying the mic all C42’s trim and or fuel gauge displays alter, he explained that many do, some more than others and if we wanted to lessen the problem we should separate the white and coloured wires running under the stick area as its normally caused by RFI. Moving over to G-KTOW the C42 glider tug and talking to Jonathan who’s C42 is kitted out with 2 EMSIS monitors replacing the need for many gauges, Jonathan kindly switched on the master switch and showed us them working, they seemed very impressive and created a lot of room on the dash too! I would love to get some for our C42 at some point…

We look at Skydemon too as all three of us are getting ever closer to taking our GST and would like to fly with a tool that will keep us on track and out of controlled airspace,  at our club the majority who use a moving map use Skydemon in their microlights. Rob from Skydemon was happy to show us their software and answer any questions we had. My only concern with using cf-lgSkydemon is using the inbuilt GPS in either an Apple or Android device people in the club have reported not having a GPS signal at times. I raised this question to Rob who suggested the use of a Garmin Glo as it has a much faster refresh rate (10 reports per second) and is not an “assisted” GPS, it also supports Glonass removing the dependency on a single satellite network. I think this is the route all three of us will probably go once we have our licences.

Overall we enjoyed the show and will probably go again, but still feel it could have more 3 axis microlights, as we did last year and without the Eurostar probably even more so!

Invalid Displayed Gallery




BMAA Flying Show 2013

My first visit to the “Flying Show”

Simon and I decided to visit the flying show on Saturday 30 November 2013, we are both relatively new to microlighting and thought this would be a good way to get a broader view of the sport and a fun day out.

We drove up to the NEC and packed in the car park signed for the show, a tip for future years would be to park in the Birmingham international train station car park, as it is half the price and short covered walk to the NEC! Car parking at the NEC was £10 per car per day.

We didn’t know what to expect from the show, not having been before, but had been told in previous years it have not filled the hall, this year and possible previous years, it was in hall 12 and it pretty much filled the hall to capacity.

Overall we enjoyed the show with its display of light and Microlight aeroplanes a few gliders, quite a few flex wing and a health number of impressive looking gyrocopters. Also in there were displays of radio controlled aeroplanes and helicopters both static and flying, a racing car and GoCycle with a short test track!

I was looking to buy a couple of things from the show but ended up buying just a chart, from what we could see from the Flight Store, AFE and Pooleys stands the only saving to be had was on the postage, I had hoped for a bit of a deal! Maybe there was on some of the items, but not the things we were looking at. If you were joining the BMAA they were offering a good £10 discount for people signing up on the day, it would be good to have some more show only deals.

There was a lot to see and do and we enjoyed chatting to various people and looking over the aeroplanes on display, however we were both a bit disappointed in the number of different fix wing Microlights on display, there was a few, but we would have like to have seen more manufactures displaying their planes at the show so future (hopefully future!) pilots like us could get a better idea of what we might want buy once qualified.

Will we return next year, possibly, I’m undecided at this point in time, for me if there was an increase in the fixed wing microlight displays, preferably by the manufactures, then I think I would certainly go again.

Below is a gallery of pictures from the show for you to browse.

Invalid Displayed Gallery