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Tests of E-PROPS Propellers

Like most propellers, E-PROPS propellers are tested to meet the requirements of aviation standards and to ensure that the products supplied are as reliable as possible. But E-PROPS wanted to go far beyond the usual requirements, and propose propellers in constant improvement and always safer.

To achieve this, the company's Research Department has developed test facilities that are rarely found in light aviation propeller manufacturers : Data Acquisition System to record in-flight performance (MERLIN), means of measuring the stresses undergone by the propeller during flight (ELIAS), many instrumented ground test benches.

The company's aircraft allow flight test campaigns of all propeller models and prototypes, from the airfield of Sisteron-Vaumeilh (LFNS).

In 2020, E-PROPS hired a test pilot, Samy Dupland, to conduct all flight and ground tests. A full time job, considering the large number of tests to be performed !

Below is some information about the E-PROPS propeller tests:

1 - Tests on ground
2 - Test in flight
3 - Means for tests on ground
4 - Means for tests in flight (Aircraft, MERLIN, ELIAS)

1 - Tests on ground

All E-PROPS models are tested in order to be sure of their performances, of their mechanical strength, and if they match with the engines.
Indeed, for each new model, it is necessary to compare calculations and physical reality.
Some tests have also been made in wind tunnel, during special developments for UAV. These tests are confidential and cannot be communicated.
Many hypotheses have been tested, then enriched the LmPTR© software.

VIDEO : E-PROPS test campaign V20 range (April 2020)
Test campaign : E-PROPS propellers for Aircraft (LSA) & Ultralights, 2020 range. Tensile, bending and torsion tests.
Carbon parts as strong as the Rotax gearbox shaft !

Here are some tests reports :

- Centrifugal load test of a carbon E-Props propeller
Results : safety coefficient = 7,2. The system carbon hub + blade can hold 6 times the maximal load during 1 hour without any damages (EASA CS-P asks only 2 times for certified propellers).
=> Report : centrifugal load tests VORP

- Fatigue tests
Stress the blade with alternating bending, to reproduce the engine's torque, and to establish the real propellers MTBO (Mean Time Between Overhauls).
MTBO 2.000 hours validated by tests.
Disassembly at 2.016 hours (more than 360 millions of cycles) : nothing to report
These tests results are extremely satisfactory, because they consolidate calculations and modellings of our engineering department by a check in real conditions at 10 times the worse case of functioning.
=> Video (Youtube E-PROPS channel)

- Centrifugal load test of a PLUG'n'FLY propeller
Results : safety coefficient = 4,6. The system carbon hub + blade can hold 4 times the maximal load during 1 hour without any damages (EASA CS-P asks only 2 times for certified propellers).
=> Report : centrifugal load tests PLUG

The E-PROPS propellers are certified following the ASTM F2506-13 standards. All E-PROPS models have undergone extensive testing to meet this standard.
=> See Quality Page

2 - Tests in flight

Here below some tests reports among thousands made by or transmitted to the E-PROPS team :

- Test report on MTO SPORT : comparative between 3-blade HTC and 6-blade E-PROPS
=> Comparative made by JM-R - March 2019
"Simply happiness ! To try it is to adopt it !"

- E-PROPS : the best propeller for CTLS
=> Detailled Argument - Oct 2017

- Comparative between E-PROPS 3-blades DURANDAL adjustable versus DUC 2-blades FLASHBLACK variable on SHARK
Choose the E-PROPS and gain :
- 15 km/h max speed
- 3,3 kg
- more than 5 000 euros
- a great ease of use (April 2018)
E-PROPS : better performances than with a variable pitch propeller
=> Comparative Report

- G1 ROTAX 912S E-PROPS : 8 meters to take-off
STOL competition Zoute Air Trophy 2018
=> 8 meters take-off

- E-PROPS : the best propeller for Savannah
=> Detailled Argument - March 2017

- Comparative tests : E-PROPS / DUC SWIRL on Savannah
Made by Savannah Africa - July 2017
In conclusion : the E-Props Durandal is the better propeller.
=> Comparative E-Props / Duc on Savannah

- Replacement of a 2-blade variable pitch Woodcomp propeller with a 3-blades E-Props Durandal ground adjustable pitch.
E-PROPS : same performances as with a variable pitch propeller.
=> Comparative : Woodcomp PV / E-Props GA

Customer feedback May 2017. Thrust 30% more than with the Autogyro 3-blades.
=> Test report EXC-6 on MTO Sport

- Tests DURANDAL 100-M 180 on SKYRANGER 912S
Made by E-Props team / May 2016
=> Test report Durandal 100-M on Skyranger

- Comparative tests : propellers on WT9 tow aircraft (April 2016)
The 3-blades E-PROPS propeller ground adjustable pitch :
- is lighter (gain 9,5 kg)
- less expensive (gain 3 879 €)
- with a 6,5 time higher TBO
is significantly more efficient than the 3-blades variable pitch WOODCOMP.
=> Comparative tests report : E-PROPS / WOODCOMP

- Comparative tests : propellers for Gaz-Aile
Tests made by the pilots of the Gaz-aile association.
Comparative of :
- Variable pitch propeller PENNEC design PENNEC 2-blades diameter 146 cm
- Fixed pitch PENNEC design 2-blades diameter 146 cm
- Adjustable pitch E-PROPS VORPALINE S 3-blades diameter 152 cm
Match E-Props / Pennec Variable pitch = E-Props wins !
E-PROPS : better than a variable pitch propeller.
=> Test report(Nov 2015)

- Comparative tests Durandal 80-S / WarpDrive on CNSK aircraft Europa
Made by a owner / pilot of Europa.
Objective : increase the rate of climb / Gain of weight = 2,2 kg
Gain of rate of climb = + 15%
=> Rapport d'essais (janv 2016)
=> Comparatif entre une Warp Drive et une E-Props sur un avion EUROPA (THE EUROPA FLYER, Dec 2017)

- Comparative propellers tests made on WT9 Dynamic Club SD tow aircraft (May 2014)
Between :
- reference propeller : composite 3-blades ground adjustable pitch
- E-Props Durandal 100-R propeller : carbon 3-blades ground adjustable pitch
Result : with the E-Props, rate of climb is better of more than 30 % against the reference propeller
=> Rapport d'essais du 17/01/2007 : Dynamic avec hélice de référence
=> Rapport d'essais du 20/05/2014 : Dynamic avec hélice E-Props

- Tests of a DURANDAL 100-S propeller on aircraft MCR4S 912S
Test pilot : M. Michel Riazuelo. MCR4S F-PADC (n°166) – Mai 2014 – Cholet Le Pontreau airfield
"Performances at take-off and climb are better with E-Props than with 3-blades Dyn'Aero propeller"
=> Tests DURANDAL 100 on MCR4S Rotax 912S

- Tests of a DURANDAL 80-S on MCR Rotax 912
Test pilot : M. Michel Riazuelo. MCR Sportster F-PMTR (n° 256) – April 2014 –Cholet Le Pontreau airfield
"Take-off and climb performances with the E-PROPS are better than those obtained with EVRA propeller, and are similar to the performances obtained with a variable pitch propeller ARPLAST PV50 Constant Speed".
=> Tests DURANDAL 80 on MCR Rotax 912

3 - Means for tests on ground

eprops tests
- Test bench with instruments and traction measurement system.
- Fatigue tests bench, to stress the blade with alternating bending, to reproduce the engine's torque, and to establish the real MTBO of the propellers.
- Traction tests bench. 40 tonnes hydraulic cylinder.

4 - Means for tests in flight (Aircraft, MERLIN, ELIAS)

In 2015, the E-PROPS team has acquired a SKYRANGER ultralight with a 100 hp Rotax 912S.
The SKYRANGER is a good aircraft to test over a speed range from 30 to 190 km/h.
It is the "prototype" of E-PROPS, which we equip with many recording systems.
This aircraft has a very simple "tubes and fabric" structure, which facilitates the mounting of various equipment, such as a boom under a wing for speed and incidence measurements, a cockpit equipped with many instruments and cameras, etc...

eprops skyranger best-off

A very important part of the development of the propellers is carried out with this SKYRANGER 100 hp, piloted by Samy Dupland, the E-PROPS test pilot.
Once validated on this first speed range, our propellers are tested on faster airplanes, from 200 to 350 km/h.

This DAU (Data Acquisition System), called MERLIN, designed and manufactured by the E-PROPS design department, allows to obtain the following parameters at each moment of the flight:
- propeller thrust
- propeller torque
- T°
- static et dynamic pressures
- engine RPM
- engine T° and manifold pressure
- angle of attack and angle of sideslip

A complex system of different types of sensors, electronic card and strain gauges is integrated in the propeller's hub, on the feet of the blades, and on other key places of the airplane. During the flight, thousands of measurements are sent in real time via Wifi to a computer located in the aircraft, as well as to a display that allows the pilot to refine his flight according to the requested parameters.

eprops MERLIN Elias
ELIAS : DAU electronic card

The obtained results are far more precise and realistic than tests in wind tunnel, and they are obtained in a very short time (during the flight). To obtain the same number of data, this would be needed years of tests campaigns in wind tunnel. Besides, nothing replaces the real conditions of flight.

Then data are integrated in the LmPTR© software.

This set of tests resources and analysis (airplane + DAU + software) provides valuable assistance to the E-PROPS design department.

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195, Route de l'Aviation
ZI Aérodrome de Sisteron
04200 VAUMEILH - France
Phone : +33 4 92 34 00 00
Phone reception opened from Monday to Friday
From 9 to 12 a.m (Paris time)

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