UTC Aerospace Systems C-130H Propeller Upgrades
UTC Aerospace Systems recently completed the first of two contracted Lockheed Martin C-130H propeller upgrades for the Air National Guard’s 153rd Airlift Wing. Photo Credit: Air National Guard (PRNewsfoto/UTC Aerospace Systems)

The US Air Force has placed an order with Collins Aerospace for its NP2000 propeller systems for an additional 26 Lockheed Martin C-130H Hercules transport aircraft for the US Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve.

The Air Force plan will involve the retrofit of around 140 C-130H with NP2000 and has now ordered NP2000 upgrades for 83 C-130H aircraft. Currently Collins has installed the system on 16 Air Force C-130H, including aircraft for the Georgia, Nevada and Wyoming Air National Guard units.

Collins states that the NP2000 contributes to an overall reduction in maintenance time and costs, not least of which by providing diagnostics for the maintainers. The NP2000 allows operators to remove and replace individual blades on-wing, without removing the entire propeller system. This results in significant cost savings per flight hour, as well as reduced maintenance labour hours.

“NP2000 incorporates advanced technologies that provide operators increased thrust, reduced maintenance and enhanced crew comfort,” said Quinlan Lyte, senior director, Propeller Systems for Collins Aerospace.

“For these reasons, the Air Force has made NP2000 a central part of its C-130H modernisation efforts.”

With its eight composite blades and digital Electronic Propeller Control System (EPCS), NP2000 offers a 20 percent thrust increase during take-off, a 50 percent reduction in maintenance man-hours and a 20db sound reduction in the cockpit compared to legacy systems. NP2000 is also in service with US and international customers on the E-2 and C-2 aircraft. The system has accumulated more than one million flight hours since entering service in 2004.

by Andrew Drwiega