Raisbeck Engineering has started FAA certification flight-testing of its new Hartzell composite five-blade swept propeller mod for the Beechcraft King Air 350 series. The Raisbeck/Hartzell team completed all ground and flight vibration and governor output pressure testing early last week before clearing the aircraft for flight-testing, which is expected to be completed by month-end. The new King Air 350 propellers will be formally introduced at the NBAA Convention next month in Orlando, Fla., where more details and preliminary performance improvements will be released.
Hartzell Propeller will supply new lightweight propellers to Piaggio Aero Industries for its third-generation Avanti twin turboprop–the Avanti EVO. For the EVO, Hartzell worked with Piaggio to develop highly swept, wide-chord aluminum alloy propellers that, when combined with changes to the nacelle and engine exhaust geometry, reduce external noise by five dBA, a 68-percent improvement. Cabin noise is also lowered by 20 percent, or one dBA, thanks in large part to Hartzell’s five-blade scimitar design.
The Munich factory of Europrop International (EPI) is ramping up production of its 11,000-shp TP400 turboprop engine to an annual 96 units to support Airbus A400M military transport deliveries in the coming years.
At the same, EPI is carefully following the recent entry-into-service of the first three aircraft, without having any major issues to report. For the joint-venture company’s four partners–Rolls-Royce, Snecma, ITP and MTU–this phase is thus looking much quieter than during the A400M’s troubled development.
French turboprop manufacturer Daher-Socata has signed a new five-year agreement with Hartzell Propeller to supply the recently introduced TBM 900 with advanced swept-airfoil composite five-blade propellers and spinners. “The TBM 900 is distinguished by its comfort, speed and efficiency, and all three are improved by Hartzell’s five-blade prop, which is quieter, speedier and more efficient,” said Nicolas Chabbert, senior vice president of Daher-Socata’s airplane business unit.
The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Honeywell TPE331-5, -5A, -5AB, -5B, -10, -10R, -10U, -10UF, -10UG, -10UGR, and -10UR turboprop engines. It was prompted by engine propeller shaft coupling failures, leading to unexpected propeller pitch changes and resulting in high aerodynamic and asymmetric drag on the airplanes using these engines. This proposed AD would require removing from service certain part number propeller shaft couplings.
Cessna Aircraft subsidiary McCauley Propeller Systems is displaying its new Blackmac Carbon Series constant-speed propeller at this year’s Sun ’n’ Fun fly-in event in Lakeland, Fla. The world’s largest full-line propeller manufacturer expects to receive FAA certification in the first half of the year for the clean-sheet scalable design that features composite materials and uses a patented high-strength, low-weight continuous carbon loop blade retention system to reduce weight and improve product life.
The European Aviation Safety Agency STC’d Hartzell Propeller’s swept airfoil composite five-blade propellers on the Daher-Socata TBM 700/850. First installation of the new higher performance Hartzell prop on a European-registered TBM was recently performed at the Socata North America Service Center in Pembroke Pines, Fla. According to Hartzell, the new propeller for the turboprop single results in faster takeoff acceleration, higher cruise speeds and better climb, along with less noise.
Hartzell Propeller Inc. introduced two- and three-blade versions of its new scimitar-shaped Trailblazer propeller for experimental and certified aircraft during Sun’n Fun’s annual International Fly-In & Expo at Lakeland Linder Field in Florida this week. To celebrate the company is continuing its support of aerobatic performers at the show, including Sean D. Tucker, Michael Goulian, Matt Chapman, Team AeroDynamix, and the Paul McCowan Parachute Team.
Hartzell received FAA STC approval for its swept composite five-blade propeller for the Daher Socata TBM 700/850. Hartzell already has taken orders for the propellers and deliveries to TBM owners are expected to begin “shortly.” With the new propeller, the TBM’s takeoff acceleration from zero to 90 knots is 10 percent faster, climb rate is improved by several hundred feet-per-minute and cruise is increased by two knots. The five-bladed prop is also quieter, Hartzell said.
Snecma is about to carry out further tests on a one-fifth scale model of an open rotor engine, in a research and technology effort that epitomizes how laborious developing a new commercial engine concept can be.
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