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An accidental overspeed condition during wind tunnel testing resulted in the destruction of a propeller rotor The occurrence was initially attributed to malfunction in the collective pitch control system. All fractured parts in the system were inspected. Highly suspect parts, including the pitch control thrust bearing set, head bolts, hub fork, and actuator rod end, were examined in more detail The thrust bearing set (52100 steel) was identified as the probable source of the uncommanded pitch angle change. A complete failure analysis of the bearing indicated that failure was precipitated by excessive heating, causing cage disintegration, plastic flow of...

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