My Light(er)-weight Prop Lock

When you travel with the RV-10, you've got a very nice plane that will attract some pretty ruthless folks when you're in a rough neighborhood, especially if you fly south of the border.  You've probably got some great avionics, and a flashy paint job, and they think they can score some good cash or maybe even take your plane for a spin.  Prop Locks are just one of the many things that can be used as a deterrent to the thieves.  Any prop lock can be cut off, so nothing is 100% secure. But, all we're trying to do is slow them down enough for it not to be worthwhile.  Also, some localities now require 2 forms of locking on your aircraft to leave it parked there....although this hasn't been a factor for me in the past.

A prop lock works not by making the prop not spin, but making it so off-balance that nobody would even try to run the engine in the first place.  There are a couple styles.  Chain, Cable, and the "Prop Club".  The Chain is often the most secure.  Here is the Sporty's Indestructable Prop Lock, for an example on how the chain works.  The Prop Club is the lightest and smallest and best to carry, but, it's also very expensive at over $180.  The only review I could find, also said someone had theirs sawed off, and a solid bar of metal would be pretty easy to saw as opposed to a floppy chain.  Cable is the weakest.

So I bought a TriMax 5060 Superchain, with Lock, that is basically exactly like the Sporty's one linked to able, but it was under $50 on from one seller.

The catch is, the weight of the indestructable lock is over 12lbs!!!!!  When you get it, you'll see, it's way more than you'd want to carry in your plane if you can avoid it.  So here is my solution.  I bought the THex 5060 Superchain which is 5' long, with 11mm links.  Hex chain is pretty hard to cut without a cutoff wheel on a grinder, but only took about 3 minutes with the right tools.  I wrapped the prop in a cloth, removed the rivet holding the nylon sleeve on the chain, and slid back the sheath and wrapped the chain around the prop. 

On the standard RV-10 prop, I found 7 links was just right WITH THIS LOCK, to go around the prop at the base, and not be able to slide off the ear of the prop.  Make sure you test the length WITH the lock you buy.  A wider gap between the shackles may require fewer links, and vice versa.  Not everyone will have the same type of lock.

To the Right is my complete prop lock assembly after modification.  The new lock weighs about 3.5-4 lbs instead of 12-13 lbs total.
Here is a picture of the box that came with the chain.  You can buy the chain alone from many places, even Aircraft Spruce.  But buying it with a lock is handy.
Here is a picture of my 7-link chain with some of the sheath cut to fit, and the excess chain above.  Man that is a lot of extra chain!
Here is just what I have left.
Here is a picture of the prop lock on the properller.  My plan is to get a piece of neoprene sleeve or something sewn up that can be slid over the prop nicely, to protect the prop from the chain.  I also purchased a pitot tube cover as a spare, and I'll rob the "remove before flight" ribbon from it for use on the prop lock.  I have another pitot cover in the plane already for travel.

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