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Lifetime of props?

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by taroh, Sep 8, 2015.

  1. taroh

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    I've been flying P3 with 2 sets of props totally 10 hours, and worrying when to change. 1 set mowed grasses, once turned when takeoff (rapid CSC stop saved), and 1 set never hits anything... but sometimes mince insects, also few hours x 10,000rpm of centrifugal force will wear them, I think. Fortunately P3 has flight records, we can know how many hours a set of props is used.
    I don't want to save $20 and lose $1,300, but also don't want to throw away normal props. Any opinion/info about lifetime of props? And how we can tell we need to change if props are hit lightly but seems to be normal?
     
    #1 taroh, Sep 8, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2015
    StevenQX likes this.
  2. dlbyers

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    Good question. I have about 8 hrs flight time on my original set of props & haven't even unwrapped the other set that came with the Phantom. I check them for wear, deformations, and make sure the threads aren't shredding inside the hubs every time I put them back on, but I have been wondering the same thing.
     
  3. Phantom751874

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    I have 88 flights, 15 hours, on the original props and there haven't been any problems. I check them before every flight. If I had to guess, crashes aside, the props will wear down over time at the hub. I suspect their ability to grip the motor threads over time will lesson. So I'm watching for that.
     
  4. III% Streve

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    I have 8 sets all the time that are new, never flown, and balanced. For paying gigs I use a new set of props. Then they are tossed in a box to replace my screwing around props. But while screwing around, I am still using the original props that I first mounted some 170 flights ago. They are dinged up, grass stained, bug smeared and fly great!
     
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  5. Mordor

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    Good topic!

    I just bought and will receive this week a metal piece to balance them.....apart that....go fly!
     
  6. taroh

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    So we're going to write log in this thread "XXX hours but still OK," or "XXX hours, suddenly broken without crack"... then we can know threshold? ;-)
    Kidding. I'll ask DJI support tomorrow. Have anyone did same question and got public answer?
     
  7. StevenQX

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    I usually clean each props almost after each flight or if i see some dirt on it, mostly caused by insects.

    The most important thing of these props imo is the screw inside the bulb (sorry but i don't know the exact english word). This .... should be kept in a good condition because of active breaking to avoid detach of props. P2v+ props with metal inside were more strong and durable infact i sold mine with the spare props in the plastic bags because I've never changed them but as we all know the p2v+ props are not good for p3.
     
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  8. Darmie

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    I recall on ask drone u podcast hearing that they are good for 20 hours. Now, that was before the P3 came out but I don't think that had changed from 2 to 3. I remember hearing they do the math on flight time of batteries and such to know when they reach the 20 hours.
     
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  9. N017RW

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    Replacing them before any trauma or visible damage is a waste.

    My P2 props are almost 18 mos. old with many more hours that that.
     
  10. III% Streve

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    Early P2 props were plastic. P3 props are nylon. There is no comparing them.
     
  11. Atom1234

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    How do u know if yours are plastic or nylon
     
  12. Boebe

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    I bought a set of carbon props. Don't flex as much as the original, and more trust because they don't deform under stress.
     
  13. N017RW

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    Nylon is a plastic.

    :)
     
  14. N017RW

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    The flex of the OEM props is part of the overall propulsion system design.

    Best to stick with OEM (DJI) props for best performance.
     
  15. taroh

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    I asked to DJI support, took 5 days and they only replied "ask again in Japanese"...??? (I sent through dji.com) Will take more few days for public answer.

    --
    Carbon props... I've been using 3rd party carbon made props on P2, felt it's solid (tight) to operation but has more vibrations, didn't like that. DJI stock carbon (I've never tried) are not carbon made, but carbon layered (? I don't remember). Carbon made (3rd party) ones seems to be durable than plastic, but of course, also have lifetime. Plastic made are softer but have flexibility - comparing to them, carbon made/layered ones seems to break more catastrophically, IMHO.

    Also carbon (epoxy material in CFRP) has very bad UV tolerance. Maybe too nervous for less than 100 hours use, but sub-micron crack will expand to break, and I prefer flying on sunny days...
     
  16. taroh

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    Sorry I was away since last post.
    1 month ago, I've received an answer from DJI support about lifetime of props. I asked two questions, (1) lifetime of props without accident, (2) criteria of exchanging props when hit something.
    The answer was only (1) - directly translate from Japanese language:
    "If your props haven't hit anything, the criteria/lifetime of exchanging props is only 'no visible deformity nor breakage,' and we are unable to answer to your question." <- The second sentence is strange... they've already answered. :)

    I'm sorry that's very NORMAL answer - "no visible deformity nor breakage" - to most of us. IMHO, about natural wear or deformity by long hours of use, P3 has certain durability, and DJI is proud about it... I also have experience that P2 IMU could adapt to small breakage or 3rd party (different shape) of props. And about my question (2), they can only say "change if crash." :)

    But I'm still worrying, invisible crack may cause catastrophic break of prop. To avoid that, we should change "healthy" props after certain hours of flight... I guess even DJI don't have enough database to tell that. So, still exchanging information here would be important. Thanks.
     
  17. taroh

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    P.S. I personally defined hours to change "healthy" set of props by maintenance for 20 hours.
    After 10 hours of flight (no crash), props obviously seems dirty by mud or insects' blood. 20 hours is about 6-12 month for my flight frequency, and $40 (2 sets of 2 props) for 20 hours is not expensive as a hobby. Any opinion?
     
  18. RedHotPoker

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    Just that, for $40.00 Can., I could buy four sets of 2 prop packs, not two?
    Are those the regular white plastic ones, or the carbon fibre reinforced prop sets? Those do cost a bit more.

    RedHotPoker
     
  19. Bryce

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    To be really safe we could change them after every flight. I have hundreds on one of my original birds... Very scuffed up... But they act as airfoils... No need to replace them. Unless you want to line their coffers... Sure....
     
  20. nickyb

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    I'm no mechanic but if there are physically okay, I guess looking for any stress cracks on the foils from time to time, maybe using a light source and a spy class. Maybe also slightly flex the foils to see if any tiny cracks are present. Again make sure they are balanced.