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Raisbeck and Hartzell Intro New Composite Prop

Retrofit for the King Air 350 improves performance, lowers noise, and offers unlimited blade life

By James Wynbrandt

July 25, 2017 - Raisbeck Engineering, in partnership with Hartzell Propeller, introduced a composite five-bladed swept propeller for the King Air 350 at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2017. The supplemental type certificate for the propeller is expected soon, with production following “very quickly,” said Tony Armstrong, CEO and CFO of Raisbeck, a Waco, Texas-based company.

“We’re already ramping up production and looking forward to first deliveries,” added J.J. Frigge, Hartzell’s executive vice president.

The large-diameter (105-inch) propellers maximize thrust, increase performance, and reduce noise, according to the two companies. Moreover, they have unlimited blade life, and a pair weighs 47 pounds less than the OEM propellers. From a safety perspective, the propellers also improve single-engine climb performance, Tony said. Though not yet precisely measured, the propellers produce about 5 to 7 percent improvements in range and climb, and up to 10 percent in some cases, according to J.J.

“We’re very, very pleased this product has joined the family [of propellers] Hartzell and Raisbeck has developed,” Tony said. “The quality of the product they produce is the one simple reason we work with them.”

The propeller’s price hasn’t been set, but it will be under $104,000 for a pair, according to Lynn Thomas, Raisbeck’s vice president of sales and marketing, and “two solid orders” are in hand. The new propellers are also compatible with upgraded engines for the King Air 350 from third-party providers, such as Blackhawk’s forthcoming XP67A, announced during AirVenture 2016.

Raisbeck and Hartzell have collaborated for more than 30 years, and over the past five they’ve developed metal swept-blade props for the Beechcraft King Air series. This is the first of their composite swept-blades, but plans are in the works to make them available for the entire King Air line. The companies are showcasing the new propellers at Hartzell’s booth (296-297) in the Main Aircraft Display area.

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