Once Farnborough's out of the way, American company Hamilton Standard will be conducting a critical design review of its NP2000 propeller development programme with representatives from the US Navy, Northrop Grumman and Allison.

The US Navy has selected the NP2000 for its E-2C Hawkeye and C-2A Greyhound aircraft. The $44.5 million contract calls for 187 propellers with an option to build 54 more.

Flight testing will begin in October 1999, with the first production propellers ready for delivery in 2000.

The eight-bladed, all-composite NP2000 propeller is a military derivative of the commercial six-bladed 568F unit which was designed and made by Hamilton Standard and Ratier-Figeac of France, which became a part of the Group earlier this year.

The 568F has been in service since 1995, accumulating 400,000 in-flight hours.

Bob Moore, Hamilton Standard's executive vice-president, says: "The NP2000 will take our existing technology several steps further and offer the US Navy significant improvements in performance, including increased thrust and less cabin noise and vibration."

The unit's one-piece steel hub also means that individual blades can be changed without having to remove the propeller from the aircraft.

The NP2000 replaces the out-of-production 54460 propeller on the twin-engined E-2Cs and C-2As. It is also compatible with the PW150 and AE2100 engines.

Source: Flight Daily News