September 23, 2013
By Jim Moore
A swept-blade propeller that boosts performance across the board will soon be available for King Air C90 models. The propeller, developed in collaboration between Hartzell Propeller and Raisbeck Engineering, increases thrust and efficiency, allowing quieter operation, and shortening takeoff and landing rolls.
The swept-blade propeller is 96 inches in diameter, six inches larger than the standard propeller. The new propeller for the C90 family is swept even more than the swept-blade model developed for King Air 200-series models (featured in the July 2013 issue of AOPA Pilot) with outer radii of 30 degrees compared to 24 degrees. Increasing the sweep allows an increase in diameter while simultaneously reducing noise.
Raisbeck announced Sept. 23 that the new propeller will be ready for deliveries beginning in January 2014, and sold either as a stand-alone modification or packaged with other mods. Raisbeck offers an “EPIC Performance Package” including dual aft-body strakes and a 400-pound gross weight increase. Combined with the aft-body strakes, the propellers increase performance across the board, reducing takeoff clearance over a 50-foot obstacle to 2,150 feet with flaps up, a reduction of 850 feet from the stock model. Landing distance over a 50-foot obstacle is reduced by 360 feet, down to 2,120 feet at maximum landing weight without propeller reverse. Reversing propellers cuts that to 1,580 feet.
“We are especially pleased with the overall improvements these propellers will offer operators of the C90GTx and other PT6A-135A powered C90s who takeoff, climb, and cruise at 1900 RPM,” said Raisbeck Engineering Propeller Program Manager Davud Kasparov, in a news release. Kasparov has worked closely with engineers at Hartzell over the last four years on the swept-blade program.
Raisbeck CEO James Raisbeck, who has developed many modifications for the King Air family, said the new propeller marks both a performance and aesthetic milestone.
“Of all the improvements our company has made to the King Air Family over the last 31 years, this one is clearly the most visible and impressive,” Raisbeck said in a press release.
AOPA Online Associate Editor Jim Moore joined AOPA in 2011 and is an instrument-rated private pilot who enjoys competition aerobatics.
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