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RFDS Western Australia - modifying PC-12's with 5 blade props

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RFDS Western Australia - modifying PC-12's with 5 blade props

Old 13th Nov 2020, 13:27
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RFDS Western Australia - modifying PC-12's with 5 blade props

November 11, 2020,
from: AIN online

Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) in Western Australia is upgrading its fleet of Pilatus PC-12 turboprop singles with Hartzell 105-inch-diameter, five-blade composite propellers. The new propellers will replace the existing Hartzell four-blade aluminum propellers on the utility aircraft that the RFDS uses for medical emergencies and patient transfers. Last year the RFDS fleet transported 9,012 patients over 8 million kilometers (4.97 million miles) across Western Australia, reaching some of its most remote corners.

RFDS already has three PC-12s in service with the five-blade propellers installed at the Pilatus factory and two more are undergoing installation at RFDS’s maintenance base in Jandakot. The operator further has three more on order, and RFDS Western Operations managing engineer Andy Lewis said plans call to upgrade its entire fleet of 16 PC-12s. West Coast Propeller, Hartzell’s recommended service facility in Western Australia, is supporting the conversion.

"The new Hartzell propellers are lighter, stronger, require less maintenance, and provide more torque, which enables the aircraft to fly better and ultimately save on fuel," Lewis said, adding they will also reduce vibration, increasing patient comfort.

"The five-blade composite swept-tip props chosen by the RFDS are specially designed to maximize performance for the Pilatus PC-12," added Hartzell Propeller president JJ Frigge. "The prop is a product of Hartzell's multimillion-dollar investment in structural composites, advanced aerodynamics, and modern manufacturing processes."
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Old 13th Nov 2020, 22:49
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https://hartzellprop.com/hartzell-in...r-pc-12-fleet/
Pettibone is offline  
Old 14th Nov 2020, 10:45
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Shouldn't, do know that- 'Field Repair' approval.....?????, or pull the Blade on-site....???

Just a question.
rgds
S28- BE
Section28- BE is offline  
Old 14th Nov 2020, 20:56
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Originally Posted by Section28- BE View Post
Shouldn't, do know that- 'Field Repair' approval.....?????, or pull the Blade on-site....???

Just a question.
rgds
S28- BE
Why field approval? Pretty sure itís just an STC.
havick is offline  
Old 14th Nov 2020, 23:33
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Bolt the new prop on to engine.
Insert STC into AFM and review any Operational Limitations.
Good advice to suggest conducting 'dynamic prop balance'
Sell old props to other RFDS divisions or Ebay

Easy easy!
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Old 15th Nov 2020, 04:14
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How do the composite props hold up on dirt?
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Old 15th Nov 2020, 06:54
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Originally Posted by Kiwiconehead View Post
How do the composite props hold up on dirt?
You need to keep a few tubes of Araldite handy...

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Old 15th Nov 2020, 08:39
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Originally Posted by Switchbait View Post
You need to keep a few tubes of Araldite handy...
Same as the Dowty props on the Q400 then
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Old 15th Nov 2020, 09:31
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Originally Posted by Switchbait View Post
You need to keep a few tubes of Araldite handy...
Righteo then, gotya!!! Ta- assume, the 5x minute/300 second variety- link here: https://www.selleys.com.au/products/...dite-5-minute/

Given, The Mission and Contingent Risk/Liability Study and then Compliance etc. ....- then also, the 'Busted Ringer' on the stretcher/ or the 'busted' Appendix....

Mr Hartzell link here, ALL Good: https://hartzellprop.com/services/ov...repair-videos/

Thanks all- got 'it' now....!!!!
Sorry to interrupt.
rgds
S28- BE

Last edited by Section28- BE; 15th Nov 2020 at 11:41. Reason: Q400's into Dirt...?????- but, yes same/same...???/Assume.
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Old 15th Nov 2020, 14:56
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Several of the YPAD based PC-12's have the 5 blade props.

DF.
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Old 15th Nov 2020, 21:30
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No one has mentioned what I consider a very important reason.

How good do they look!

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Old 15th Nov 2020, 21:39
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Is it the NGX propeller or something different ?
atakacs is offline  
Old 15th Nov 2020, 22:51
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I'm guessing that better ground clearance is also a factor?
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Old 16th Nov 2020, 00:25
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Doesnít matter how many blades your prop has when you only have one engine.
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Old 16th Nov 2020, 04:45
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Both the 4 blade aluminium and the 5 blade composite props on the PC12 are 105" diameter so no real change to prop clearance...

The composite props have a steel leading edge strip so it would take a lot more effort to damage them than the aluminium ones... I doubt RFDS would be running them unless they had proven that they hold up well on the dirt strips.
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Old 16th Nov 2020, 06:07
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They better be good cause at $85K or so per prop that's a LOT of donation dollars!
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Old 16th Nov 2020, 11:31
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Originally Posted by Kiwiconehead View Post
Same as the Dowty props on the Q400 then
I assume so. Itís how we filled the dings in the EMB120 props too
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Old 16th Nov 2020, 22:05
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Originally Posted by Captain Nomad View Post
Both the 4 blade aluminium and the 5 blade composite props on the PC12 are 105" diameter so no real change to prop clearance...

The composite props have a steel leading edge strip so it would take a lot more effort to damage them than the aluminium ones... I doubt RFDS would be running them unless they had proven that they hold up well on the dirt strips.
Great information. Thank You Captain!!
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Old 17th Nov 2020, 11:38
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I have it on good authority that you can pick the difference in performance. Not necessarily in a good way.
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Old 17th Nov 2020, 15:54
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Originally Posted by bolthead View Post
I have it on good authority that you can pick the difference in performance. Not necessarily in a good way.
Really? Iíve got plenty of time behind both props and given the choice Iíd take the five-blade every time.

Performance is much better during take-off / climb and itís also noticeably smoother / less vibration.
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