Five-Blade Hartzell Prop Proves Beneficial for TBM Owners

Hartzell Propeller Inc announced that the introduction of its five-blade prop designed for Daher-Socata's TBM series of single-engine turboprops has been very successful, with an average of five customers trading out their propellers each month — a number that exceeds Hartzell's expectations.

But the performance improvements provided by the prop, which comes standard on the new TBM 900, appear to be worth the trade. Customers have reported "10 percent improvement in takeoff roll, faster climb, faster cruise, quieter cabins, smoother rides and shorter stopping distance," said Hartzell's president Joe Brown.

Ralph and Carole Ragland of Houston, Texas recently flew an international trip that totalled nearly 40 hours and 11,000 miles in their TBM 850 with the new prop installed. "The increase in airspeed of three to four knots is significant and a shorter takeoff and landing distance certainly adds a comfort level when needed," Ragland said. "Bottom line – no regrets."

Hartzell was able to design the propeller with optimal blade chord thickness and sweep, and maximum strength by using carbon composite materials. Hartzell says the prop has improved the takeoff acceleration of the TBM 700 and 850 from zero to 90 knots by 10 percent compared with any other available propeller and it provides at least two additional knots of cruise speed compared with Hartzell's four-blade metal prop.

The five-blade prop is both FAA and EASA certified and TBM customers can swap out their props through Hartzell's Top Prop conversion program or through Daher-Socata's support network.

Check out the five-blade prop on the TBM 900 here.

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Pia Bergqvist joined FLYING in December 2010. A passionate aviator, Pia started flying in 1999 and quickly obtained her single- and multi-engine commercial, instrument and instructor ratings. After a decade of working in general aviation, Pia has accumulated almost 3,000 hours of flight time in nearly 40 different types of aircraft.

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