We Fly: Hartzell Composite Five-Blade Prop Okayed on TBMs

Propeller maker Hartzell has gotten the FAA's approval for a new five-blade composite prop for existing Socata TBMs, from the 700 though the 850 series. We flew the new prop on a TBM 700 last month and were impressed by its smooth operation, great runway performance and impressive climb rates.

Hartzell president Joe Brown says the new prop improves the TBM's takeoff acceleration from zero to 90 knots by 10 percent over any other available TBM prop while also boosting climb rates by "a couple hundred-feet-per-minute" and cruise by two knots Hartzell says the new five-blade prop is also significantly quieter in the cabin and in the pattern, a claim that played out in the TBM we flew, which had interior noise levels that allowed conversation between the pilots without headsets (though headset use is always encouraged).

Hartzell has already started shipping the five-blade props for installation on TBMs in the United States.

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