Adam A500 propellers pass stringent FAA test

Hartzell Propeller Inc.’s high technology, blended airfoil propeller system for the Adam Aircraft A500 has passed the final hurdle for certification on the aircraft.

A recent FAA regulation requires all new pusher propeller installations, such as the aft propeller on the Adam A500, to ingest airframe ice shed during an inadvertent icing encounter without causing a hazardous condition. After extensive analysis and coordination among Hartzell, Adam and the FAA, a simulated ice ingestion test was developed. The test was conducted using a compressed-gas gun at the University of Dayton Research Institute’s Impact Physics lab to shoot softball-sized ice balls at the propeller at speeds up to 520 miles per hour. This test simulated a long section of wing leading edge ice striking the propeller blade at the most critical position, angle and velocity. Despite the severity of the test, the propeller’s structural integrity and critical feathering functions were maintained, passing the FAA’s requirements. This makes the A500 the first production aircraft to have passed such a stringent test.

The propellers are 78-inch diameter, three-bladed designs using Hartzell’s proprietary blended airfoil technology. This is the first application of the technology in a pusher configuration.

The A500 twin-piston aircraft is approaching FAA certification. Meanwhile, the A700 AdamJet is undergoing initial flight tests.

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