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19 Jan

Starter Adapters: A Vital Component in the Operation of Your Aircraft. 


The starter adapter is located on the flywheel of the engine. Its function is to transfer the power from the starter motor to the engine, in order to turn it over and start. The starter adapter works in conjunction with the starter motor to crank the engine. When the starter motor is activated, it spins and causes the shaft of the starter adapter to rotate.

Inside the adapter, there is a coil spring that connects to the drive shaft. This spring tightens around the shaft as the starter motor spins, similar to how a Chinese finger trap works, the harder it turns, the harder it grips the shaft. Once the engine starts and runs at a faster rate than the starter, the spring loses tension and the shaft is released from the starter motor. 

Starter adapters are designed to fit a specific make and model of piston engine aircrafts. They are manufactured to precise specifications and are built to withstand the harsh environments of aircraft operation. They’re designed to last for many years with proper maintenance.

It’s important to note that a worn or damaged starter adapter can cause difficulty starting the engine, reduced performance, and even engine damage. It’s recommended to check the starter adapter regularly and replace it if it shows signs of wear or damage, to ensure the proper operation of the engine. It’s also important to consult the manufacturer’s recommendations and consult a professional before making a purchase, replacement or overhaul.


When to Overhaul a Starter Adapter:

There are several reasons why an aircraft owner or operator may choose to overhaul their starter adapter, including:

  1. Age and wear: Over time, starter adapters can experience wear and tear from normal use. This can cause them to become less efficient and less reliable, and may lead to increased maintenance costs.

  2. Corrosion: Starter adapters are exposed to the elements and may become corroded over time, which can lead to decreased performance and reliability.

  3. Damage: Starter adapters can be damaged by impact or improper use, which can lead to decreased performance and reliability.

  4. Lack of maintenance: Proper maintenance is important for the longevity and reliability of starter adapters. Lack of maintenance can cause the adapter to deteriorate more quickly and require more frequent overhauls.

  5. Upgrades: New technology and regulations can make older starter adapters obsolete. In this case, it may be necessary to overhaul the adapter to bring it up to current standards.

  6. Regulations: Some countries may have regulations that requires overhauls to be done after a certain number of hours of operation or after a certain number of years.

It’s important to note that overhauling a starter adapter is a complex process that should be performed by a qualified technician or mechanic. It’s also important to consult the manufacturer’s recommendations and consult a professional before making a decision on overhauling a starter adapter.

Continental starter adapters are available PMA’d under the brand SkyTec and are designed to fit a wide range of aircraft engines, including those used on small single-engine planes, as well as larger multi-engine aircraft. They are also compatible with a variety of starter motors, making them a versatile choice for aircraft owners and operators.   SkyTec is Hartzell Aviation company that specializes in the manufacture of aircraft starter motors, and their adapters. SkyTec products are known for their reliability and durability due to their precise engineering capabilities.

If you need to know how to find the specific starter adapter for your aircraft please refer to this table:

In addition to their reliability and versatility, SkyTec starter adapters also feature a number of safety and performance-enhancing features. For example, many of their adapters are equipped with over-crank protection, which helps to prevent damage to the starter motor in the event of a difficult start. They also have automatic resetting thermal protection, which prevents overheating of the starter motor.

SkyTec starter adapters are also designed to be easy to install and maintain. They feature a compact design, which makes them easy to fit into tight spaces, and they are also designed to be easy to disassemble and reassemble, making them a convenient option for aircraft mechanics.

Quality Aircraft Accessories is a Hartzell Aviation company and is the Factory Direct option for all Hartzell brands including SkyTec.