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Hartzell Propeller and Explorer Aircraft Ink Product Development and Purchase Agreement

Date: July 20, 2000 Category: Press Releases
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Explorer to Outfit all Aircraft with Hartzell Propellers; Beginning with Production of the Model 500T

PIQUA, Ohio – – July 20, 2000 – – Hartzell Propeller Inc. and Denver, Colorado-based Explorer Aircraft, Inc. announced today that they have recently signed a product development and purchase agreement in which all aircraft to be developed by Explorer will be equipped with Hartzell propellers, starting with the production of the model 500T. This will be followed by the 500R, powered with an Orenda V-8 engine, and the 750T, an extended turbine version. The family of aircraft was designed and engineered in Australia but will be built in North America and gain simultaneous certification from the United States, Australia and Canada.
Hartzell’s 94-inch diameter, four-bladed lightweight series feathering and reversing propeller selected for the 500T features wide chord aluminum blades that are well matched for use on utility aircraft applications. Not only does the blade design provide excellent take-off and climb performance, but the elliptical tip shape also has a low noise signature, to keep flyover and cabin noise levels to a minimum.

CEO of Explorer Aircraft, Graham Swannell, used this propeller successfully while with Aeronautical Engineers Australia for a turbine conversion of the Grumman G73 Mallard amphibious aircraft.

“We were very pleased with the application of the four-bladed propeller on the turbine Mallard due to the outstanding performance obtained,” Swannell stated.

The Explorer 500T is a follow-up to the proof-of-concept 350R, which was equipped with a Hartzell three-bladed compact series propeller on a 350 hp piston engine. The 500T will be powered by a Pratt and Whitney PT6A-135B turboprop engine generating 600 shp at 1900 rpm. The fuselage shell is comprised of a carbon fiber composite, with the wing and remainder of the primary structure constructed of high-grade aluminum alloy.

The first successful flight of the Explorer 500T occurred on June 9, 2000. Certification for this aircraft is projected for late 2003. The 500T with the Pratt & Whitney PT6 engine will be featured at the EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh in July/August 2000.

For more information on Explorer Aircraft, please visit their Web site at or contact Don Joseph at Explorer Aircraft, 357 Madison St., Denver, CO 80206. Phone: (303) 388-0600; Fax: (303) 388-1005.

Hartzell Propeller Inc. is the world’s leading manufacturer of propeller systems, well known for its advanced engineering and manufacturing capabilities. The company is rich in aviation heritage tracing its beginnings to relationships with Orville Wright and Glenn Curtiss. Significant technical innovations include the industry’s first full-feathering propeller for light twins, the first fully reversing propellers for corporate turboprops and the industry’s first composite structure blades. Hartzell was recently selected by NASA as the exclusive propeller partner for its General Aviation Propulsion (GAP) program – developing the next generation of general aviation propulsion systems.

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