June 20, 2017 (by Melissa Noebes) - UTC Aerospace Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corp. announced today that propeller upgrades for the U.S. Air National Guard LC-130 aircraft commenced this month with the fitting of the NP2000 propeller system. The retrofit contract includes twelve of the U.S Air National Guard's fleet of LC/C-130H aircraft.
UTC Aerospace Systems NP2000 propeller system on the LC-130. [USAF photo]
The C-130H, long considered the workhorse of militaries worldwide, is a versatile, four-engine turboprop military aircraft designed to transport troops and military equipment—with an advantage of taking off and landing on unprepared or short runways. The eight all-composite blades, improved electronic control system, and reduced support costs of the NP2000 propeller system offers the C-130H better performance and greater reliability—helping to ensure the aircraft and its crew are mission-ready.
"We are thrilled to help the U.S. Air National Guard extend the life of its C-130H aircraft fleet and to enhance the reliability of this exceptional aircraft," said Jean-Francois Chanut, General Manager, Propeller Systems, UTC Aerospace Systems. "We look forward to retrofitting these 12 aircraft, and helping the U.S. National Guard accomplish many successful missions in the years to come."
The NP2000 propeller system, with its proven technology, offers several benefits to operators, including a reduction in vibration and noise; an increase in thrust; and associated fuel savings—depending on operating conditions. This next-gen propeller system also incorporates more electric and more intelligent technologies from UTC Aerospace Systems, including a digital electronic control system that improves speed holding and blade synchronization. These innovations provide greater comfort and safety for the crew as well as valuable fault diagnostics for maintainers.
"Another advantage of our NP2000 propeller system is the reduction in maintenance time and costs," added Chanut. "We designed the propeller so that operators can now replace individual blades on-wing instead of having to take off the entire propeller system. This design enhancement reduces the maintenance man hours and aircraft time on the ground, increasing the aircraft's availability. Foreign operators of the C-130 and P-3 are also evaluating upgrades with the NP2000 propeller system to ready their fleet."
UTC Aerospace Systems has been designing, manufacturing and servicing propeller systems for more than 100 years. Its Propeller Systems business has three international sites and currently supplies and services a variety of propeller systems and critical flight control systems across commercial and military platforms around the world.