Vibration Analysis and Mitigation
Aviation Resources is the industry innovator for specialized aircraft vibration reduction. We have unmatched experience identifying the source of vibration and finding ways to reduce it. Having traveled the world working on many types and models of aircraft, Aviation Resources delivers quality vibration analysis that surpasses other shops who simply offer prop balances. After attaching accelerometers and sensors to your aircraft, our vibration computer provides read-outs that help us identify the source of the vibration. We perform testing on the ground as well as in-flight to thoroughly analyze the impact of the various components on the vibration of your aircraft.
Vibration is BAD for any piece of machinery, but when there is excessive vibration in the machine you are trusting your life in thousands of feet up in the air, reducing vibration is CRITICAL.
Vibration wreaks havoc on your aircraft in many ways. Whether metal or plastic, airplane parts can only handle so much fatigue before they start to crack or fail. The longevity of instruments and avionics, lamps, cowls and baffling, engine mounts, Plexiglass, oil coolers and even the airframe itself can be drastically affected by the presence of excess vibration. The reduction of vibration can increase safety for yourself and your passengers, improve reliability and performance of all aircraft systems, and reduce maintenance costs by identifying issues before they progress to significant problems or failures. And because vibration robs horsepower by redirecting energy from its intended purpose, a reduction in vibration can actually increase thrust.
Your vibration level may be significantly higher or lower than the average, but only a experienced mechanic with a vibration analyzer can tell for sure. On the average, 19 out of 20 fixed-wing aircraft can significantly benefit from dynamic propeller balancing.
Dynamic Propeller Balancing
The most common source of aircraft vibration is the result of imbalance between the propeller and drive train. The vibration created due to the imbalance can effect a wide range of aircraft systems, such as:
- avionics, radio and indicator failure
- alternator or generator failure, attachment bracket cracks, thrown drive belts
- vacuum pump failure
- wiring harness failure, chafing, terminal end work hardening failure
- fuel control failure
- leaky oil coolers, cracked weldement areas
- cracked or broken exhaust components, heat muffs
- cracked or broken carburetor air box
- baffle, cowl and sheet metal cracks
- broken or cracked engine/turbocharger mounts
Dynamic propeller balancing is the process whereby an electronic balancing computer system and sensors are used to measure the vibration produced by the aircraft propeller and powerplant. Small trim balance weights are added to the propeller/crankshaft assembly to correct for errors in mass distribution and thus reduce the measured vibration due to mass imbalance to the lowest level practical.
The dynamic propeller balancing procedure can be done on any aircraft in a flight-ready state. A small vibration sensor (accelerometer) is attached to the engine in a location where vibration due to mass imbalance is at the maximum–at the crankcase spine as close as possible to the propeller flange. A small tachometer pickup (photo-tach) is also mounted to the cowl or engine to produce a propeller tach signal. The engine is operated and the vibration and tach signals are processed by the balancing computer. The balancing computer measures the vibration level (magnitude) produced by the accelerometer which corresponds to the amount of mass imbalance which exists. The balancing computer also provides a “phase angle” which corresponds to the location of the mass imbalance on the propeller disk. The vibration and phase angle are used to compute a balance solution (weight amount and location). Once the prescribed weights are attached to the spinner bulkhead and the engine is run again, the computer “learns” the reaction to the weight and location of the trial weights installed and recomputes on each additional run process until the measured imbalance is found to be at an acceptable level. The entire process usually takes 3-5 runs and an average of 3-5 hours.
Question for you:
Would you put tires on your car or truck without having a dynamic balance (spin balance) performed? Well, the propeller on your aircraft weighs as much or more than a car tire and can produce much higher vibration levels and is directly mounted to your engine. Why wouldn’t you have the propeller dynamically balanced?
Dynamic Tire Balancing
Speaking of tires, you won’t believe the difference it makes on taxi and landing when your tires have been dynamically balanced! You know how it makes a difference when your car’s tires are balanced, now consider the impact on your plane. Because of our expertise in dynamically balancing propellers, we applied the same theory to tires and developed a machine to spin the tires while we interpret readings from our vibration computer. We add weights in the mathematically calculated spots and—voila! Perfectly balanced nose and main tires!
Vibration Reduction and Comfort Products
Because vibration is inherent to any engine-driven machine, especially those facing external uncontrollable forces such as wind and pressure changes, sometimes it is necessary to dampen or isolate the effect of the inherent vibration. Aviation Resources has developed several products to reduce the effects of vibration in an effort to improve cabin comfort. Tingling extremities, blurred vision, and general body fatigue can be greatly diminished with our vibration reduction products.
Custom Seat Cushions Padded Arm Rest Vibration Isolation Pads