UTC Aerospace Systems has won a contract to upgrade the propellers on 24 Lockheed Martin C/KC-130T tactical transports serving with the US Navy Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR).

The deal will see the aircraft receive the NP2000 propeller for their Rolls-Royce T-56 powerplants, says UTC Aerospace Systems.

The company has also completed propeller upgrades for nine of 12 contracted C-130H tactical transports in service with the US Air National Guard.

Both the NAVAIR and Air National Guard aircraft have previously been upgraded with UTC Aerospace Systems' Electronic Propeller Control System (EPCS).

The NP2000 is an eight-bladed composite propeller, and with the EPCS, replaces the legacy 54H60 four-bladed propeller.

A Wyoming Air National Guard C-130H that has been upgraded with the NP2000 is on display in the static park. After the show, it will travel onward to stops in Europe.

Lt Col Todd Davis, commander of the Wyoming Air National Guard's 187th Airlift Squadron, lists a number of benefits from the NP2000.

Electronic controls make the engine response far better, and the engine produces more thrust. In addition to improving runway performance, this adds safety margins during missions such as firefighting that require the aircraft to operate at lower altitudes. In addition, the update allows for higher cruising altitudes, which improves fuel burn.

Unlike the previous propeller system, blades can be individually replaced. This reduces the aircraft's maintenance footprint as large propeller housings need not be carried on deployments.

John Taussig, a business development executive with UTC Aerospace Systems Propeller Systems, says the NP2000 upgrade, which has also been deployed on the Grumman E-2 and C-2 since 2004, is suitable for operators who prefer to upgrade legacy C-130s. In addition, the upgrade is planned for the Lockheed Martin P-3 Orion.

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Source: FlightGlobal.com