Airframe Vibration: Look Beyond the Prop

It's disconcerting, fatiguing and causes premature component wear, but there are ways to tame abnormal airframe vibration.

Although we're primarily concerned with airframe vibration for this article, it's worth a few words on engine mounts, or engine isolators, as they're more appropriately called. We covered them in detail in the January 2015 Aviation Consumer. These elastomer donut-like components that live between the airframe and the engine serve the important purpose of dampening the rigid airframe from the hammering vibration of the engine and propeller. Engine vibes can certainly do damage, including cracking major structural components, loosening rivets, fatiguing metal and damaging instruments, to name a few issues. Steve Gruenberg, a professional vibration analyst, told us to "Think of airframe vibration as multiple impacts-as in taking a hammer to the structure."
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