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Thu, Jul 20, 2023

Daher Delivers First Kodiak-100 with Hartzell 5-Blade Composite Propeller

Well and Truly Air-Screwed

Daher, the French industrial conglomerate and parent company of general aviation aircraft marques TBM, Kodiak, and SOCATA, has delivered a unique Kodiak-100 to the North Carolina Forest Service’s Aviation Division (NCFSAD).

By taking delivery of the high-wing, single-turboprop-engine utility airplane, the NCFSAD earned the distinction of being the world’s first operator of a Kodiak-100 equipped with a composite five-blade propeller. The organization will utilize the plane as a “load aircraft” and ply it to the carriage of equipment and supplies in support of aerial tankers in the wildfire suppression role.

Daher Aircraft Division senior vice-president Nicolas Chabbert stated: “As North Carolina’s motto is: ‘First in Flight,’ it’s extremely appropriate that the state’s Forest Service is the initial operator of this latest upgrade for the Kodiak-100.”

Designed and built by Hartzell Propeller specifically for use on Kodiak-100 aircraft, the new five-blade propeller incorporates Hartzell’s lightweight Raptor propeller hub technology and carbon-fiber blades. The Hartzell unit is fully 13-pounds lighter than the Kodiak-100’s OEM four-blade metal propeller.

Key features of Hartzell’s composite propeller blades include a durable nickel-cobalt leading edge, a nickel erosion screen for FOD (foreign object damage) protection, urethane paint for improved erosion protection, and extensive use of aerospace-grade carbon fiber.

Hartzell Propeller President JJ Frigge set forth: “This new lightweight propeller option gives Kodiak-100 pilots a five-percent shorter takeoff roll, with less vibration and even quieter flights. We have worked with Daher for years on their TBM platform, and we are very pleased to continue our partnership with them, enabling their STOL Kodiak to perform even better with a new, customized five-blade composite Hartzell prop.”

Compared to the current standard Kodiak-100 propeller, Hartzell’s new prop occasions a significant six dB(A) noise reduction. Flyover noise, as measured during the propeller’s STC flight-test program, was 77 dB(A) lower than the EASA requirement of 85 dB(A), and less than the strict German requirement of 78 dB(A).

Hartzell’s five-blade composite propeller for the Kodiak-100 incorporates an anti-ice system and is certified for Flight Into Known Icing (FIKI) conditions. The unit’s 96-inch diameter arc has a ground-clearance of 16.4-inches and preserves the Kodiak-100’s ability to operate from unimproved surfaces. Similarly, Kodiak-100 aircraft contemporaneously retrofitted with floats and Hartzell’s five-blade composite propeller retain their ability to conduct water operations.

New-production Kodiak-100 Series III aircraft are presently available with Hartzell’s five-blade composite propeller as an option. The retrofit for all in-service Kodiak-100s is offered via the Hartzell Top Prop program. The propeller is durable by design, with a TBO of four-thousand-hours/six years, and an industry-leading warranty of six-years or up to four-thousand-hours.

Daher’s Kodiak-100 is a robust and reliable multi-mission workhorse. The aircraft is operated worldwide by civil and government agencies tasked with applications the likes of wildfire suppression, monitoring national resources, public safety, humanitarian-services, and Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) operations. Of the 320-plus Kodiak-100s delivered to date, upwards of ninety are in-service with multi-mission operators.

Daher’s director of Kodiak flight operations and special missions Paul Carelli remarked: “With its enormous useful load, off-airport capabilities, and simple and rugged design, the Kodiak-100 is ideal for such a broad range of applications.”

Mr. Carelli added: “In addition to the performance improvement with Hartzell’s five-blade composite propeller, the aircraft is extremely quiet. This is significant for missions such as forestry and law enforcement, and also is very important when flying recreationally in backcountry environments.”

Daher’s Aircraft Division is exhibiting at the Airborne Public Safety Association’s APSCON annual convention in Orlando, Florida. The company invites APSCON attendees to visit its displays at Booth #404.

FMI: www.kodiak.aero

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