Present and past: Dowty Propellers’ propeller systems come together at the Farnborough Airshow

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A full range of Dowty Propellers-equipped aircraft were at centre stage during this month’s Farnborough Airshow, spotlighting the company’s propeller systems from current-production applications to their origins.  The following walk-along of the Farnborough flight line puts the focus on these aircraft:

Bombardier’s Q400 NextGen regional airliner – which is fitted with the composite-bladed R408 propeller system from Dowty Propellers on its Pratt & Whitney Canada PW150A turboprop engines – made headlines during the 2014 Farnborough Airshow.  New business revealed at the event brought total firm orders for this aircraft to above the 500 mark, and Bombardier officially announced a cargo-passenger combi configuration offering with the twin-engine turboprop.  These developments follow Bombardier’s recent launch of dual-class and extra-capacity options for the Q400 NextGen.

The MC-27J multi-mission variant of Alenia Aermacchi’s C-27J Spartan tactical twin-turboprop airlifter came to Farnborough Airport with a low-visibility paint scheme.  Capable of performing special forces duties while retaining its tactical transport capabilities, the MC-27J can be configured with tailored mission equipment mounted on roll-on, roll-off pallets – including a 30-mm. GAU-23 chain gun. The MC-27J and C-27J are powered by Rolls-Royce AE 2100D2 engines that drive Dowty Propellers’ R391 propeller systems with composite blades.

Dowty Propellers’ propeller systems for the Saab 340 marked the world’s first use of composite propellers on a FAR Part 25-certified aircraft.  Since its 1984 service entry, this General Electric CT7-powered aircraft has demonstrated its capabilities on regional airline routes around the world, as well as in military service.  At the 2014 Farnborough Airshow, Saab displayed the Saab 340 MSA (Maritime Surveillance Aircraft) modification, which is proposed for the detection, classification and identification of maritime contacts; search and rescue duties; oil spill detection; and transport missions.

In addition to the Farnborough Airshow’s role as a professional aerospace business event, the biennial UK gathering also honours the past with classic aircraft – including this two-seat Supermarine Spitfire fighter as part of its 2014 line-up.  The Spitfire’s speed and performance during World War II forged the aircraft’s reputation, with its Rolls-Royce Merlin or Griffon engines driving four- and five-bladed propellers from Dowty Propellers’ predecessor, Rotol.