Hartzell Propeller has secured US certification for a bespoke five-bladed, composite, swept-tip propeller for the Piper M600. The approval comes as Piper prepares to debut its single-engined turboprop at the European business aviation convention and exhibition (EBACE).
The US airframer is also hoping to secure European validation for its flagship aircraft at the event, which will be held from 22-24 May in Geneva.
The M600 entered US service in June 2016 following a 15-month certification campaign, and nearly 40 aircraft have been delivered to date.
The current model features Hartzell’s four-blade propeller as standard, but the new system will be available as an option. “Deliveries are already underway,” says Piper, adding that the new propellor will also be available as a retrofit for in-service M600s.
The five-bladed propeller features thin, highly efficient aerofoils, which are designed to boost the M600's performance and ramp appeal, and reduce in-flight vibration, Piper chief executive Simon Caldecott says.
Hartzell has also gained supplemental type certification for its Trailblazer two-bladed propeller for installation on out-of-production Cessna 177RG Cardinal piston-singles.
General Aviation Modifications (GAMI) – the US engineering company which led the certification effort – says the Trailblazer is 3.2kg (7lb) lighter than most aluminium two-bladed propellers, and up to 11.4kg lighter than some three-bladed examples approved for four-seat Cardinals. This has resulted in improved climb and cruise performance for the Textron Lycoming IO-360/390-powered, high-wing aircraft, GAMI adds.
Piqua, Ohio-based Hartzell says more than 1,300 177RGs were built between 1971 and 1978. It is unsure how many of these models remain in service today.
The Trailblazer features on a number of light singles, including the Piper PA-18 Super Cub, Aviat Husky and the American Champion Scout.