PIQUA, Ohio — August 16, 1994 — Both Marsh Aviation and Israeli Aircraft Industries (IAI) have developed turboprop conversions of the Grumman Tracker that feature advanced Hartzell propeller systems. The conversions include replacement of the original radial engines with Garrett TPE-331-15 turboprops as well as replacement of the original props with new Hartzell five-blade constant speed, fully reversing systems.
The propeller systems consist of specially designed blades that are aerodynamically optimized for superior low speed thrust which results in improved acceleration, take-off, and climb performance.
Israeli Aircraft Industries
The IAI conversion will be primarily utilized by Argentine Navy Trackers on anti-submarine patrol. Flying from Argentine Navy carriers, the added thrust performance at lower speeds will be ideal for catapult operations. The new engine/propeller system underwent extensive testing at the US Navy’s Patuxent River NAS test facility to determine the performance of the new system to catapult launching and arresting operations.
The Hartzell system features a steel hub and five composite blades. The unique, high performance requirements for this propeller system demanded an overall prop diameter of 11 ft. With such long blades, composite material was utilized to maintain a lightweight overall system.
Composite materials also added superb resistance to the corrosive and erosive seaborne environment that the aircraft will be subjected to over their operational lives. Hartzell’s long-term experience designing and maintaining composite propeller systems for seaplanes and float planes dates back more than 50 years to its work on the Republic Seabee.
Marsh’s Tracker conversion is aimed at numerous commercial utility/fire-fighting applications for the aircraft. In these roles, the added flight performance will be most valuable in improving flight cycle times. The Marsh S-2F3T Turbotracker has already set a number of world performance records including speed over a 100-kilometer course (282 mph), time-to-climb to 3,000 meters (three minutes, 40 seconds), and altitude (35,735 ft.).
The steel hub and five aluminum blades that comprise Hartzell’s system for the Marsh Turbotracker has a proven field record with more than a million flight hours on the Shorts 360. The company is therefore able to demonstrate actual reaction of the propellers’ components to very high time situations.
Hartzell Propeller Inc. is the world’s leading manufacturer of propeller systems, enjoying an 85 percent market share on corporate turboprops and a 60 percent share on turboprop airliners. The 77-year-old company is also well-known for its design leadership having introduced the industry’s first full-feathering propellers for light twins, the first fully-reversing propellers for corporate turboprops, and the industry’s first composite structure blades.
Additional Utility/Cargo Aircraft with Hartzell Propellers:
Basler Douglas Turbo DC-3
Conair Grumman Turbo S2
Pilatus PC6 Turbo Porter
Pilatus Britten-Norman BN-2 Turbine Islander
Pilatus Britten-Norman Trislander
deHavilland Twin Otter
Siai Marchetti SF600TP