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News: RFDS Turboprop Fleet Change To 5-Bladed Composite Blades

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  1. RFDS Turboprop Fleet Change To 5-Bladed Composite Blades
    The Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) is presently engaged in changing the blades on all of their Pilatus PC-12 turboprops. The original four-bladed Hartzell props are being changed for new Hartzell five-bladed composite blades. Why is there a concerted move to do this? Down the road the new blades are expected to bring cost savings to the operation of the Pilatus fleet in the RFDS. The blades are higher performing as well and even provide more comfort to patients onboard as a result of less vibration.
  2. "The Flying Doctor in Western Australia is delighted with the support received for this fleet conversion, from both West Coast Propeller, Hartzell's Recommended Service Facility here in Western Australia, and from the Hartzell factory in the United States," said RFDS Western Operations Managing Engineer Andy Lewis. The fleet is being moved to Hartzell's 105-inch diameter five-blade composite propellers from Hartzell four-blade aluminum propellers. "The new Hartzell propellers are lighter, stronger, require less maintenance, and provide more torque, which enables the aircraft to fly better and ultimately save on fuel." He said the new propeller system will maximize aircraft performance and increase patient comfort with less vibration expected during flight. RFDS has 16 PC-12s in service at present.

    For more information:

    Royal Flying Doctor Service (Canberra)
    Level 2, 10 - 12 Brisbane Avenue,
    Barton ACT 2600

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