PIQUA, Ohio — Hartzell Propeller Inc. announced today that it had completed preliminary performance and acoustical testing of its AGATE/GAP propeller concept. The new system consists of aluminum blades with full 25° tip sweep and very high lift airfoils. This initial testing series on a Piper Saratoga testbed simulating the GAP engine, demonstrated a flyover noise reduction of 4 to 6 dBA without any loss in performance. Hartzell is the only propeller manufacturer involved in these NASA sponsored programs.
Overall, the goal of this round of development was to demonstrate reduced noise without any loss in aircraft performance, develop new analytical codes, acquire a baseline to correlate future noise data, and to actually flight demonstrate Hartzell’s latest “Low Noise” technology design features.
The next step in the process will be the development of an entirely new blade that conforms with the vibrational stress characteristics of the new GAP engine being developed by Teledyne Continental Motors. Ultimately this new propulsion system will be provided to Cirrus, Lancair and New Piper for flight demonstrations and testing scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2000.
The AGATE (Advanced General Aviation Transport Experiments) and GAP (General Aviation Propulsion) programs are joint efforts between industry leaders, academic institutions and NASA with the objective of developing significant enhancements in the performance of general aviation for the next century. The programs are exploring new technologies, new materials, new manufacturing techniques, as well as new testing and analysis capabilities. The fruits of the initial round of development are expected to be demonstrated at Oshkosh in 1999.
Hartzell Propeller Inc. is the world’s leading manufacturer of propeller systems, enjoying dominant market share in virtually all categories of propeller driven aviation including: complex piston, high-performance kits, aerobatic, corporate piston and turboprop, agricultural, military trainers and turboprop airliners. The 81 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.