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Mon, Jul 24, 2006

Hartzell Intro's ASC-II Composite Prop

Developed Especially For GA

Hartzell Propeller Inc. gave Aero-News a heads up on the news it has received FAA certification for its new ASC-II second-generation Advanced Structural Composite propeller system. Hartzell says the ASC-II is the first FAA certified advanced structural composite propeller developed specifically for the general aviation market.

The ASC-II is billed as the result of the company's nearly 30 year experience in the design and manufacture of advanced structural composite propellers. Hartzell calls the ASC-II an 'optimized' design, mated to a proprietary, Hartzell-developed manufacturing process.

The result is an advanced structural composite propeller that delivers all of the advantages provided by Hartzell's first generation of composite propellers -- low weight, low inertia, and low life cycle costs -- while minimizing the major disadvantage: the high cost manufacturing process.

The Hartzell ASC-II consists of a composite monocoque structure composed of carbon/Kevlar laminate, integrated into a co-molded stainless steel shank. The outboard half of the leading edge is protected with a co-molded electroformed nickel erosion shield.  Aluminum mesh is embedded into the laminate for lightning protection.

Hartzell says the new design offers numerous benefits to aircraft owners, including:

  • Lighter weight - ASC-II blades weigh 30% less per blade than comparable metal blades, providing greater useful load and moving the aircraft center of gravity away from the propeller, often creating more versatile loading capability.
  • Lower inertia - Propellers with ASC-II blades provide dramatic reductions in inertia, which is VERY important for aerobatic aircraft to minimize the gyroscopic effects of the propeller. Often, it also means lower vibration and smoother operation for GA aircraft.
  • More durable - Properly maintained, the Hartzell ASC-II blade will never require replacement because, unlike a metal blade, its surface can be restored.
  • Higher performance - Typically composite blades can not quite match the performance of metal blades, since metal blades can be produced with the thin airfoil sections needed for maximum performance. However, Hartzell says the use of carbon, in combination with Hartzell's specialized manufacturing process, yields a strong, yet thin, monocoque structure that permits the use of thinner airfoil sections at the blade tips and performance comparable to metal. 
  • Higher strength - The Hartzell ASC-II uses carbon and Kevlar materials to make the structural part of the blade, creating an extremely high strength advanced structural composite blade that is stronger than other composite propeller blades.
  • Proven design - Passing the rigorous certification process provides assurance that the Hartzell ASC-II design is well proven. As the only certified advanced structural composite propeller in the GA market, the Hartzell ASC-II has lived through a simulated encounter with a four pound bird at rotation, taken a direct hit of 200,000 amps of electricity to prove that it can survive an encounter with lightning, and withstood a direct pull of 132,000 pounds reaching the limit of the test fixture without failing (6.8 times the normal Cf load) to demonstrate a safety margin in the event of an engine overspeed.

Hartzell also states a major launch customer for the first Hartzell ASC-II propeller model will be announced at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2006.

FMI: www.hartzellprop.com

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