January 21, 2011
By Thomas A. Horne
Hartzell Propeller Inc. has announced a new, two-blade Top Prop propeller conversion kit for Piper’s PA-23-250 Aztec twin-engine airplane. The new propellers have 77-inch diameters and blade-mounted counterweights to provide redundant assistance to the propeller pitch control and feathering system. The Aztec’s standard system relies heavily on an air charge for controlling pitch and feathering, Hartzell says.
The propellers also incorporate swept-tip Scimitar “blended airfoils,” which Hartzell claims will boost Aztec cruise speeds by two to three knots, and reduce noise by almost two dB(a). In addition, the Aztec Top Prop kit can be ordered with either a 14- or 28-volt de-ice system that includes composite spinners. Total installed weight of the conversion is 62 pounds per propeller. Installation time is posted as “a few hours,” and no changes are needed to the propeller governors.
The introductory price of the conversion is $21,950, with a three-year/1,000-hour warranty and a six-year/2,400-hour TBO. The conversion kit is available from Hartzell directly, or through Hartzell’s Top Prop dealers.
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.
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