King Air 250 Gets Hartzell Composite Prop Blades
Hartzell Propeller has received FAA type certificate approval for a new advanced-composite ASC-II four-blade propeller. Hawker Beechcraft’s King Air 250 was the launch customer. “The 93-inch-diameter ASC-II advanced composite propellers with lightweight aluminum hubs weigh 30 pounds less than the equivalent metal-blade propeller. The result is a 65-pound weight saving per shipset, yet the props are quieter and the carbon blades have an unlimited fatigue life,” Mike Disbrow, senior v-p of marketing and customer services, told AIN. Disbrow said the company used the same ASC-II resin transfer molding technology it applied to Cirrus propellers. The process uses a dry fiber with the resin injected into the mold. “This is a much better process than the older one, which required us to lay up the blade with composite material pre-impregnated with resin, then put it into a compression molding process. This process saves money on material, takes less time and reduces waste,” he said. The new prop can be retrofitted on later models of the King Air 200 and Hartzell is looking at other aircraft that would be a good match, though Disbrow said the company isn’t ready to make any announcements.