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What is the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA)?

Every enthusiast group has its crowning organization, their keeper of the flame. For aviation enthusiasts, our keeper of the flame is the Experimental Aircraft Association, also known as the EAA.

The EAA is more than just an enthusiast group for experimental aircraft. It is a cornerstone in our community that serves everyone from the recreational pilot to the propeller shop with a stellar aviation blog you love reading.

The EAA has branches dedicated to antiques, aeronautics, warbirds, homebuilt projects, research, and more. The EAA will happily accept membership from anyone interested in aviation. The EAA is integral to aviation, so we need to ask what is the EAA, and why does it matter to you?

We are here to make sure that you will be ready to go for the next EAA event, be it a local Northern California air show or flying out to Oshkosh for their annual Fly-In. For any propeller related needs, Contact Stockton Propeller today.

Two young girls behinda safety tape on a tarmac at an airshow with a propeller plane in the background

The EAA and its Events

If you’re not a member of the EAA, you have probably experienced one of its air shows. EAA chapters around the country have been regularly scheduling airshows since its founding.

Today over 200,000 members across nearly 900 chapters in the United States can be seen piloting their aircraft for millions of spectators almost every weekend of the year. Tour flights are also available from several restored vintage aircraft including, a Ford Tri-Motor, B-17 Flying Fortress, and a B-25 Mitchell.

Since its founding, the EAA has hosted a yearly Fly-In Convention with the first convention being held months after its founding in 1953 at Curtiss-Wright airport in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

By 1959, the EAA’s annual Fly-In Convention had already outgrown its original convention site. A new location was found in Rockford, Illinois, until 1969 when it outgrew its second venue, and finally arrived at its current home in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

Washington DC Capitol dome detail with waving american flag

Research and Legislation

When a group of aviation enthusiasts gets together in a room, it doesn’t take long to begin exchanging ideas. The EAA is the largest association of aviation enthusiasts, and research has gone hand-in-hand since its inception.

In 1971, the EAA Aviation Foundation made the first of its pivotal aeronautical research expeditions testing unleaded automotive fuel in airplanes. Since then, the EAA has worked with the FAA on the behest of aviation enthusiasts across the nation.

Some of their other research and legislation highlights include:

  • The creation of a Recreational Pilot Certificate
  • Alternative fuel research with the Florida Institute of Technology
  • Reform of third-class medical certifications.

From addressing the shortage of air-worthiness inspectors to getting the Hoover Bill passed, the EAA has been working with our government to help keep aviation accessible.

The EAA is one of the most essential lobbying organizations on capitol hill for recreational aviation enthusiasts in the United States, benefiting everyone from the local propeller shop to the ultralight enthusiast tinkering away in their hangar.

Preservation and Fostering the flame

Since the EAA’s founding, the preservation of aircraft has been one of their central tenants. Since its founding in 1962, the EAA Air Museum Foundation has grown into the world’s most extensive private collection of vintage aircraft.

The museum is not just a footnote to the EAA, when they had their first expansion to their headquarters, a museum extension and restoration hangar were at the top of the list.

Since then, they have created a replica of the Spirit of St. Louis, which visited 210 cities on the 50th anniversary of Lindbergh’s famous flight.

In 2003, the EAA also successfully recreated a faithful replica of the Wright Brother’s flyer that took flight on December 17th, 2003, 100 years to the day of their first flight.

The EAA plays a pivotal role in fostering aviation enthusiasm between free flights for kids and their Young Eagles program. Camps and scholarships are also offered to kids and teens to help usher in the next generation of aviation enthusiasts.

Flight academies are available with free introductory flights for adults who may be interested in flying themselves. The EAA knows that the youth is the future of our passion, and they are willing to do what it takes to make sure everyone who wants to get involved can get involved.

ultralight aircraft taking off against a blue sky

It is all about Recreational Aircraft

The EAA was initially founded in January of 1953 by Paul Poberezny from a rag-tag group of aviation enthusiasts in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The EAA quickly became the nation’s foremost aviation enthusiast group. Their award-winning magazine has been in print for members since 1958, and in recent years, they’ve added a podcast and an internet forum dedicated to recreational aircraft.

Aircraft building has always been an integral part of the backbone of the EAA, and a treasure trove of resources is available for the homebuilt aircraft community. Over 23 pages of plans for homebuilt aircraft are publically accessible on the EAA’s website. EAA members get access to a free version of Solidworks, which is available for computer-aided design when creating their designs. Hands-on assistance is available as well through workshops, volunteer service, and how-to tutorials.

For those that are more advanced in aeronautics, the EAA Founder’s Innovation Prize is available. It is awarded to EAA members who find ways to reduce the chance of in-flight loss of control incidents. This prize has created real-world safety advancements that save lives and make aviation easier for the beginner pilot.

Your local propeller shop is here to make sure you can reap the benefits of the EAA

Today the EAA Fly-In Convention in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, draws an attendance of 642,000 people from 93 nations! Although this is halfway across the country from Northern California, those with their own aircraft can easily make the trip, and Stockton Propeller is here to make sure you will be there.

We are here for your restoration, homebuilt project, or any other propeller-driven craft. Contact us today for your propeller related needs, and we will make sure you’re ready for your next adventure.

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Airplane Propeller Repair or Maintenance – Which One Saves More?

When it comes to our airplanes, the most often overlooked item is the propeller. That one overlooked item can lead to a costly airplane propeller repair bill. Don’t wait until your propeller breaks. A good preventative maintenance plan can prevent expensive repairs and help you avoid being stranded at an inconvenient time. Stockton Propeller specializes in propellers, and we’re here to take care of all your propeller maintenance and repair needs.

Experiencing a component failure in flight can cost a pilot much more than just money. That’s why propeller maintenance is an essential part of any aircraft maintenance program. Contact Stockton Propeller now and let us show you how we can protect and care for your plane’s propeller.

Your plane’s propeller blade tips can travel at speeds that exceed 500 miles per hour. Your propeller will endure somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 to 25 tons of centrifugal force, trying to rip it apart. Propellers are bending and flexing, while at the same time contending with the vibration and power pulses of the engine.

Airplane Propeller Repair or Maintenance

Propellers cost thousands of dollars. It only makes sense that we take care of them. By following a few simple steps regarding your airplane’s propeller preventative maintenance, you can save yourself thousands of dollars in repairs or replacement.

Damage to your propeller can come from sand, rain, or small rocks. These can cause wear, or leave dings that may seem trivial now, but can become a big problem over time. These nicks and dings can lead to areas of stress, allowing cracks or corrosion to occur.

When compounded, all of these factors can cause your propeller to become imbalanced, causing excessive vibration, and aircraft component fatigue. If this scenario occurs, you now have much more than an airplane propeller repair.

Preflight inspection being performed by technician

Propeller Basics

One of the most basic propeller precautions is to never push or pull the plane by the propeller. Propellers are durable by the nature of the design and materials; however, it is never a good idea to put extra torque on the hub.

Putting additional strain on the propeller blades can push them out of alignment or cause them to malfunction. It doesn’t take much to cause damage to the propeller.

One possible result of pushing or pulling on the propeller to move the plane is that the propeller could bend. When a propeller is bent, even slightly, that can cause the propeller to be out-of-track.

When a propeller is out-of-track, it can cause additional stress and vibration to the aircraft, not to mention the engine. A myriad of problems can result from an out-of-track propeller. Under no circumstances should you try to straighten a bent propeller yourself.

Choosing to move your airplane by the propeller can lead to some expensive damage. Don’t risk the integrity of your propeller or cause some unnecessary repair expenses. Use a tow bar whenever you need to move your plane.

If you suspect or discover that you have a bent propeller, we are here for you. Stockton Propeller has the experience, knowledge, and equipment to repair a bent propeller.

Mechanic inspecting airplane engine

Pre-flight Inspection

Routine maintenance of the propeller starts with a visual inspection. Make sure you clear away any rocks or debris in the area around the propeller. An idling propeller can vacuum up almost anything from about 4 to 6 feet in front of it. A visual inspection should be a part of every pre-flight routine.

One of the best tools for detecting anomalies on your propeller is your hands. Look and feel for nicks, dents, and feel the overall smoothness of the propeller’s surface.

Run your fingers gently over the leading edges of every propeller blade. Look for cracks, raw scratches, and dents that are big enough to deform the metal around them. Look for dings that exceed one-thirty second of an inch.

Missing hardware, broken seals, and loose blades or spinners are all cause for concern. You should address these issues before the next flight. Make a note and schedule a repair as soon as possible.

Regularly Clean Propellers

One easily overlooked aspect of propeller maintenance is simply washing your propeller. Propellers pick up an assortment of contaminants. Dead insects, pollutants, and dirt are some of the things that accumulate on a propeller during flight.

It’s simply unavoidable; it’s going to happen. When contaminants of this nature accumulate on the propeller, it can diminish your propeller’s performance.

That’s why you must wash your propeller regularly. You can remove dirt and debris from your propeller with a simple solution of soap and water.

Wash each propeller blade while it is in the down position. Take care to avoid liquids getting into the propeller hub, which could potentially damage the seals.

Maintain Propellers’ Paint Job

You should always paint your propellers as a safety measure to ensure the propeller’s visibility, particularly while they’re in motion. Regular inspection and maintenance of the propellers paint job is critical. Maintain them with periodic touch-ups and repaints.

Technician in Tyvek and respirator painting aircraftPainting your propeller should be part of every airplane’s maintenance schedule. It’s important to remember to avoid any paintwork or a style that could potentially reduce the visibility of the spinning propeller. If you’re not sure when it’s time to repaint, one good way to remember is to have it done at the same time as your propeller’s midlife inspection.

Airplane Propeller Repair or Maintenance – The Answer is Clear

By now it should be obvious that propeller maintenance is not an option. There are many tasks that every owner should perform regularly. Be advised that this is by no means a complete list of maintenance items.

Proper propeller maintenance can and will extend the life of your propeller. Not only is regular maintenance a safety measure, but a cost-saving measure as well.

Some maintenance procedures require a professional shop and equipment to perform the job correctly. Contact Stockton Propeller now to schedule an appointment. Whether it’s preventative maintenance or repair, you can trust your propeller to Stockton Propeller.