Propeller install notes

CAUTION: Before actually mounting propellers make sure to test the motor operation to assure they run in the correct direction, else swap two leads on the specific motor to reverse its rotation direction until all match the picture. Wait with installing propellers until you see that the IMU and transmitter calibration look ok.  Once propellers are in place they represent powerful aviation stuff that can accomplish considerable lifting force, so unless you have everything looking right prior to propeller install, then motors running havoc in an unintended way could hurt both you, the ArduCopter and others. So take care and double-check your setup prior to running with propellers.

Propellers come as pairs in two sealed plastic bags. One pair is intended for running clockwise (front/rear) while the other pair backwards (left/right). Make sure you install them as shown in the following picture (the + orientation shown. Same rotation direction principle applies for X orientation as well) :


By rotating them in the shown direction make sure they are oriented to drive air downwards. Once you come as far as arming motors and applying some throttle, then double check rotation directions before attempting flight.

How to mount propellers on each motor axle:

The washer shall go into that hub recess.

You place it on top, then press it into the opening....

And here is how it looks with the spacer in place.

Now install the axle using both aluminium parts.

Propeller with the mount ready to go onto the motor axle.

This type of 2mm shaft screwdriver proved handy for tightening the nut

Mr Arthur P. Meiners have contributed this additional security advice:

* Put a small drop of locktite into the nut and start it onto the thread.

* Consider also to put some locktite onto the motor axle but make sure it does not leak down to the bearings.

* Position the prop adapter with prop onto the axle and carefully tighten the nut. Don;t use a very long-armed wrench. These aluminum thread's don;t like too much force. In addition excessive force can also negatively impact the strength of these EPP prop hubs. The adapter has to tighten onto the axle so that it sits tightly and the prop cannot turn on the axle. If the nut is also a spinner, that's all. If it is a normal nut and there is room, then consider adding a 2nd nut and tightening that onto the first. This provides additional security against the nut working itself loose in flight.

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  • How does one remove a collet and prop assembly that is stuck ?

    In  my case the easy bit was sliding the collet off the motor shaft with a screwdriver, and this only required a small bump. However the collet is stuck. I loosen the bullet nut, as all turns simply spin the entire assembly. The four gaps in the base of the collet are very narrow and past experience tells me attempting to force something in them to get a grip damages them permanently.

    Any tips ?

  • Hi All,


    Thanks to everyone for input on the prop washers for the APC 11x4.7 props. I bought a 6.3mm drill bit from McMaster Carr and that seems to have done the trick. Now on to the next issue.

    I was just mounting the props to see what it all looks like (I will remove for testing, etc) and noted some issues with the aluminum prop adapters that came with the 880 motors I purchased with my kit. For a part that is so important to the safety and function of this machine, the dimensions for the prop adapter seem to be pretty much all over the place. Initially I noticed this by the varying way in which the collar fits on the axle adapter (please see the photo for my terminology as well as the elements I am measuring). Here is what I came up with taking some quick measurements:



    A B C D
    diameter at base 8.55 8.52 8.72 8.48
    interior height 10.12 10.5 10.5 10.6


    A B C D
    inner diameter at base 8.23 7.92 7.7 7.76
    height 8.28 7.36 8.24 8.26

    So one concern is making sure the collar is able to exert enough force on the axle adapter when tightened down so as to be safe (skipping applications of locktite for the moment). I can mix and match the collars with the adapters based on the diameters and can I think achieve reasonable results.

    The other concern that I have is that for axle adapter (A) the interior height is significantly different and in addition the interior diameter along this height is tight compared to the others. Thus any prop mounted with this adapter will sit higher than its mates and there is uncertainty resulting from the difficult of getting the adapter to snug down on the motor shaft.

    Comments, thoughts or suggestions? Should I request another adapter kit from 3DR?

  • yes, it is the APC props for me here too. I ended up using drills in steps on the rings once they were mounted: 6.1mm, 6.2mm and 6.3mm one after another to keep it centered as good as possible.

  • I also have the 2836's and the 1147 props. Everyone seems to agree that the base of the prop adapter is 1/4 inch and the prop insert is 6mm. I know that the insert will fit over the 1/4 inch shaft if you force it, and I have done it,  but it just doesn't seem right to me as there are indeed 6mm prop adapters in addition to 1/4 inch adapters. They are not interchangeable as far as I know. I don't know that the 6.0mm inserts will self center over the 6.2mm shaft, although the error would be small. I'm more concerned with the integrity of the prop itself caused by the excessive radial pressure.


    I ordered some truely 6mm prop adapters just to be sure.

  • > Using larger 880kv orange motor from 3DR and propeller

    > hub that came with it. Propeller is 11x4.7 APC

    same problem here. Has anyone a good solution for this? I can't just use a file since it would very likely be off center. Using a 6.3mm drill on it? I was confused about the orientation of the propellers fist since it all works fine if you put them on with the writing facing downwards.

  • After pushing the washer into the propeller hub recess, there is a space between the propeller and the lower aluminum part (shown in figure). Am i doing something wrong?


  • after dealing with a broken prop at the field. i found out that when using the supplied props you end up with one dia of thread engagement. when using apc props you have 2 dia's which is better. went to my local hobby store and got a E-flight  adapter. after putting it on its real nice. sits down on the motor farther, has more thread and has a built in raised section so you dont have to use the spacers. im converting the other 3 soon.

  • I had a crash yesterday from a propeller coming lose mid-flight and I was hoping someone here could help me with some tips to avoid another scenario like this. Luckily I was over grass so I only lost a couple of props. I have a 3DR frame with the 850 kV motors and 10x45 EPP props. I install the props pretty much like shown here but I have been using a paperclip to tighten the spinner on the shaft. Maybe this doesn't provide enough force. As the picture below shows, the threaded shaft which goes on the motor shaft was bent at the point where it grabs on to the motor shaft. There was medium wind when I was flying so it may be possible I was putting a lot of strain on the props. But I still think it's odd that this happened and made me think it wasn't just from the fact that I didn't tighten it enough. It seems like it would take a lot of force to do this. Also, I haven't wanted to use loc-tite yet because I am still making a lot of PID adjustments and I want to be able to take off the props easily for testing and transportation. Anyone have any ideas why this may have happened and any tips as to what I can do to avoid it from reocurring?


  • Developer

    A great replacement part:


  • Thank you, handy stuff.
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