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Q-talk 97 - Warnke Prop

Some of you may recall the beautiful original Warnke Prop I had built by Bernie Warnke before he died some years ago. I had the prop refinished about 2 years ago by his daughter, Margi.

Several months ago I began to notice small 1/2" cracks in die finish starting to develop on the back side of the prop in a diagonal fashion (about the middle of both blades). I monitored the cracks and noticed them increasing on the rear sides of the prop. I talked with several EAA'ers here who didn't feel the prop was failing but due to the thin design of the blades and the flexing caused, thought the finish was too thick, thus causing the cracking.

Two weeks ago. after returning from a flight. I saw two much larger cracks about 10" from the hub that had developed on the front side of both blades and definitely deeper than the ones on the rear. I grounded the prop and sent it to Clark Lidick (former son-in- law of Bernie) who owns Performance Propellers, for an evaluation. He advised me today that the prop was not salvageable and he would not fly behind it. I tried to reach Margi to let her know but she is no longer in business and has moved to Alaska.

I know some of you (Sam & Mike) have used your Warnke Props for a lot longer than me without problems. This message is just a beware note. I loved that prop but must now get rid of it.

I've now had Craig Catto of Catto Propellers make a 60/70 prop with a secret little twist and fatter blade area. Hope it works as well as the Warnke. After some performance runs. I will post the new information as a comparison. Craig is becoming "famous" around here in the EZE and RV world with some world class records. He is located in California and his web site is http: //www, cattoprops . com/ After talking with several prop manufacturers, I can tell you he is as good as it gets. Check out his web site if you are in the market for a prop. Tell him Jim sent ya!

You can order a printed copy of Q-talk #97 by using the Q-talk Back Issue Order Page.