UK-based aerobatic team, The RV8tors, are collaborating to display Hartzell Propellers’ Advanced Structural Composite (ASC-II) propeller in airshows across the UK and Europe over the next year.
Alister Kay and Andy Hill, The RV8tors, have been flying their Van’s RV8 aircraft as an aerobatic duo since 2010. They expect to perform for more than three million spectators across the UK and Europe this year.
Alister Kay (left) approached Hartzell during the winter and, after several discussions with both the management and engineering teams, has now replaced his Hartzell 2-blade metal propeller for the lighter-weight 2-blade Hartzell Advanced Structural Composite (ASC-II) propeller. The other team aircraft still fly behind Hartzell aluminum-blade propellers.
After the initial flight with the new Hartzell 76” composite propeller, Kay commented, “My first impressions are that the prop has a similar feel and smoothness to a 3-blade wooden prop and feels perfectly matched to the RV-8; the low inertia and high efficiency is obvious. Take-off acceleration is improved as is rate of climb and the ‘braking’ effect.”
After flying formation displays with the new ASC-II, he added “the advantages are clear; I have noticeably more power available and also have lost 15 lbs of weight. Cruise speeds at all power settings have improved, especially in the very efficient low rpm ranges.”
Joe Brown, president of Hartzell Propeller, said, “Hartzell introduced our second generation structural composite blade in 2006. In addition to being offered on several OEM aircraft, Van’s Aircraft offers the Hartzell 2-blade composite prop for Lycoming IO-360 powered aircraft and a 3-blade composite propeller for the IO-540 powered RV-10.”
The Light Aircraft Association (LAA), which oversees UK light aircraft flying, has worked closely with Kay and Hartzell to approve the first ASC-II on a UK Permit aircraft. A short test flying period has been completed, and full approval was gained on April 19.