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Prop prices.

I feel compelled to respond to Mr. Nielson's letter in the January 2010 issue written in response to the article in the December issue about composite props. I agree with Mr. Nielson that it was a good article and it's nice to see someone reporting on composite propeller technology, but Mr. Nielson also makes some assertions that are misleading.

Regarding pricing, Mr. Nielson quotes Hartzell's catalog list price for a replacement Cirrus SR22 propeller. Since this prop is installed standard on the SR22GTS and Turbo, it is included in the price of the airplane. The consumer doesn't purchase this propeller separately, so the price Mr. Nielson quoted is not relevant.

Cirrus chose this propeller on its technical merits, performance and the value it offered to their customers. The numbers speak for themselves, with over 1000 Hartzell advanced composite props now in service on Cirrus aircraft. A more appropriate price comparison would be to look at Van's Aircraft catalog prices. They sell new Hartzell ASC-II advanced composite propellers to their builders--a three-blade for the RV-10 at $15,220 and a two-blade for the two-place RVs at $10,920.

Yes, it's a bit higher than MT pricing, but the composite structure (carbon fiber and/or Kevlar) of the Hartzell blade is a technically superior product, providing greater durability and repairability than MT's wood structure blades.

The MT meets the dictionary definition of composite being "of two or more materials," but wood probably isn't one of the materials most people would think of when they hear it referred to as a composite.

Furthermore, the MT is not the only prop approved for use on diesel power plants. Hartzell has a composite propeller approved for use on the SMA diesel engine which will soon be added to their STCs. In addition, Hartzell composite propellers consistently win in the Red Bull races, have seen millions of hours of service on regional airliners, such as the Beech 1900, and are used on the high-performance Pilatus PC-21 turboprop trainers.

Finally, in the propeller business, the Hartzell engineering team's ability to mission-optimize the design for any given airplane is second to none, which is why we have more propellers being flown on more aircraft applications than anyone else in the business. But I, too, am biased.

Mike Disbrow

Senior Vice President

Hartzell Propeller Inc.


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Article Details
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Author:Disbrow, Mike
Publication:The Aviation Consumer
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2010
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