April 23, 2009
By Thomas A. Horne
Hartzell Propeller now offers its supplemental type certificated three-blade, composite-construction “Top Prop” replacement propellers for the Piper PA-46 Matrix and Mirage. The propellers’ carbon fiber-Kevlar blades and their aluminum hubs save 11 pounds, compared to stock propellers, Hartzell says. The propellers are approved for flight into known icing (FIKI) using the company’s electrothermal de-ice system.
The weight reduction permits a seven-gallon increase in fuel capacity in an extreme forward-center of gravity situation, Hartzell says, which can add up to 30 minutes’ more flight time—or 90-nm more range, given an economy cruise power setting and flight at 18,000 feet. Cruise speeds measure nearly two knots more than those published in the pilot’s operating handbooks, Hartzell says, along with reduced cylinder head temperatures and oil temperatures in climb and cruise. List price of the Top Prop is $24,000, which includes de-ice and a polished spinner.
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne has worked at AOPA since the early 1980s. He began flying in 1975 and has an airline transport pilot and flight instructor certificates. He’s flown everything from ultralights to Gulfstreams and ferried numerous piston airplanes across the Atlantic.
A new FAA policy on obstructive sleep apnea that addresses many of the concerns raised by AOPA is scheduled to take effect March 2.
AOPA and the National Business Aviation Association have jointly filed an amicus, or friend of the court, brief in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals as part of the ongoing legal battle over the future of Santa Monica Municipal Airport.
AOPA worked with the flight training industry and FAA to quickly resolve a problem that suddenly put many rating applications on hold.
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