May 6, 2011
By Ian J. Twombly
Beechcraft Baron 55 owners who have been waiting for a three-blade Top Prop can rejoice. Hartzell said it has received supplemental type certificate (STC) approval for its propeller on the venerable twin.
Hartzell says the new propeller features aluminum alloy blades that provide increased ground clearance, less noise, and better speed. Owners should see a 5.8 dB decrease in sound over the standard two-blade prop, and 1.1 dB lower than other three-blade models. The company also says that users should expect a 2- to 4-knot increase in cruise speed, depending on the installation.
The kit, which includes new pointed, polished spinners, range from $21,500 to $26,850 depending on aircraft and options. Hartzell also said the propellers are fully compatible with 14 volt or 28 volt de-icing systems or alcohol anti-ice systems. There is a three-year, 1,000 hour warranty as well.
AOPA Pilot and Flight Training Editor Ian J. Twombly joined AOPA in 2003 and is an instrument flight instructor.
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