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Nine-blade prop starts flight testing
Nine-blade propeller. © MT-Propeller

Nine-blade prop starts flight testing

Germany's MT-Propeller has reported initial flight testing of the world's first nine-blade propeller. Initial results are described as very promising.

German high-performance propeller system specialist MT-Propeller Entwicklung GmbH has announced the start of flight testing of what is claimed to be the world's first nine-blade propeller. Initial results are described as very promising.

According to the company, function, handling and operation on the aircraft are comparable to propellers currently in service.

Development of the nine-blade design is particularly targeted at future low-noise, high-performance airplanes driven by electric-powered engines, turbine engines or geared piston engines for propellers with low RPM.

MT-Propeller believes that, depending on propeller-driven aircraft design, top speeds of up to 430 KTAS can be achieved with this type of prop, while reducing fuel consumption.

The company says that the nine-blade concept opens up the near-term perspective of prop-powered aircraft offering comfort comparable to jets combined with low fuel consumption.

Aircraft currently in service with eight-blade propellers include the Airbus A400M military transport and the Northrop Grumman E2 Hawkeye airborne early warning aircraft. Propellers in both cases are supplied by Ratier-Figeac.

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