The Hartzell Team was on site at the 2014 Valdez May Day Fly-In and Airshow, where the scenery and the aircraft were both exceptional. The team brought along a new carbon fiber Trailblazer prop, designed as a high performance bush prop, to show of the hotbeds of backwoods aviation. We installed the prop on a Cessna 175 that had been flown in by one of our modifiers, Dave, from Fairbanks, AK.
Readers with an interest in short take-offs and landings may already know where this story is going…
Once our associate had the advanced composite prop on his airplane, he had to see what it could do. Luckily, the Valdez Fly-In is home to one of the nation’s most celebrated short take-off and landing (STOL) contests. Though Dave is not a self-styled “hard core” STOL enthusiast, he is an excellent pilot, and he soon found himself rolling down the runway for the main event. Dave’s Cessna, along with the Trialblazer, ended up putting up two of the day’s six best take-off distances in the Light Touring class: 136’ and 137’.
Those are numbers you have to see to believe. Luckily, we have the video: