MT-Propeller Builds Composite Warbird Props for North American P-51, F-82

Company says its composite-blade models have been certified in Europe and are undergoing tests in the U.S.

The rare F-82 Twin Mustang is one of the aircraft that can use the new composite propeller. [Courtesy: MT-Propeller]

MT-Propeller has revealed a new composite propeller for warbirds powered by engines of up to 2,200 hp. The company said the new four-blade prop is certified by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for use on the North American P-51 Mustang and F-82 Twin Mustang.

MT said one of its goals in designing and manufacturing the propeller, called the MTV-4-1, is to help keep the vintage aircraft flying as airworthy parts for the original propellers are “becoming increasingly difficult” to find.

The new propeller looks like the original, with a similar blade shape, but the blades are made of a natural composite and certified and tested for an unlimited lifespan, according to MT. The F-82 used for testing has helped demonstrate the propellers’ capabilities this year while flying to airshows across the U.S. The composite warbird propellers are moving through the FAA certification process.

MT is a renowned manufacturer of a range of composite propellers, including hydraulically controlled models with two to seven blades designed for engines of up to 5,000 hp and electrically controlled props with two to four blades for engines up to 350 hp. The company also makes two-blade, fixed-pitch propellers.

MT said its props—30 models in all—are designed for traditional piston- and turbine-powered aircraft, ranging from motor gliders to regional airliners. They are also made for airships, hovercraft, and for use in wind tunnels.

MT holds more than 220 supplemental type certificates (STCs) and is an OEM supplier for more than 90 percent of the European aircraft industry and about 30 percent of the U.S. aircraft industry. The company said it has more than 28,000 propeller systems delivered, with more than 100,000 installations in service.

Jonathan Welsh is a private pilot who worked as a reporter, editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal for 21 years, mostly covering the auto industry. His passion for aviation began in childhood with balsa-wood gliders his aunt would buy for him at the corner store. Follow Jonathan on Twitter @JonathanWelsh4

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Get the latest FLYING stories delivered directly to your inbox

Subscribe to our newsletter