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
Amazon.com 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
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
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.