The US engineering and modification company Texas Turbine Conversions (TTC) has joined forces with Hartzell Propeller to develop a four-bladed, lightweight, composite swept propeller for its Supervan 900 single-engined turboprop.
Introduced in 1997, the Supervan is a re-engined version of the Cessna 208 Caravan featuring a Honeywell TPE331-10/12JR turbine.
From its base in Denison, 120km (75 miles) north of Dallas, TTC has already completed vibration flight-testing of the new propeller, and hopes to secure supplemental type certification during the fourth quarter. The new system features a 280cm (110in) blade diameter and is 27kg (60lb) lighter than the Supervan’s current propeller, which is built from aluminium, says Hartzell.
“When coupled with the TPE331 engine, the new propeller generates up to 30% more static thrust,” says TTC, which plans to display its modified Supervan at the AirVenture show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin from 25-31 July. “The upgrade also boosts the aircraft’s performance and reduces fuel consumption.”
As well as the Supervan, TTC offers a TPE331 engine modification programme for the de Havilland Canada DHC-3 Twin Otter. Nearly 50 upgrades have been performed since the project – dubbed Super Otter – was introduced in 2001.