Iwakuni Air Base, Japan – Powered by GE Aviation’s Dowty Propellers, the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s fleet of ShinMaywa US-2 STOL search and rescue amphibian aircraft has been proven in extreme mission conditions, as demonstrated by a challenging rescue at sea during the summer.
In recognition of Japan’s successful service experience with the US-2 – including the June 21 recovery of two persons from the Pacific Ocean – Dowty Propellers presented the JMSDF with a commemorative plaque, provided to the 31st Fleet Air Wing at Iwakuni Air Base in Yamaguchi Prefecture.
Dowty Propellers’ R414 six-blade composite propeller system equips the US-2’s four Rolls-Royce AE2100 turboprop engines, and is designed specifically for the aircraft’s STOL (short take-off and landing) capability in high waves and swells.
The US-2’s capabilities as an effective search and rescue amphibian platform in rough conditions was validated by the Pacific Ocean rescue mission after a yacht had capsized. In a Sea State 5 conditions with wave heights of approximately four metres, the US-2 from Atsugi Air Base landed and recovered the two persons who had evacuated to a life boat.
“Such sea conditions are the ultimate challenge for a propeller, and the US-2’s successful rescue operation this summer once again put our product to the test,” explained Oliver Towers, president of GE Aviation’s Dowty Propellers. “We designed the R414 propeller system for high efficiency, with excellent resistance to bending force, erosion and fatigue, enabling the US-2 to achieve its STOL performance in the most difficult sea conditions.”
The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force has five US-2s, which have accumulated thousands of flight hours.
Dowty Propellers, a part of GE Aviation, is one of the world’s leading developers and manufacturers of propeller systems, benefitting from long-standing expertise that covers everything from blades used on World War II combat aircraft to all-composite propellers for military airlifters, airliners and hovercraft.
In addition to the ShinMaywa US-2, the company’s aviation propeller systems are used on the Lockheed Martin C-130J, Bombardier’s Dash 8 Q400, the Saab 340 and Saab 2000, Alenia Aeronautica’s C-27J, and the Fokker 50. Dowty Propellers equips Textron Marine’s LCAC (Landing Craft Air Cushion) hovercraft, which is to be succeeded by the Ship to Shore Connector – for which Dowty Propellers has received a propeller system development contract from Textron Marine.
GE Aviation, an operating unit of GE (NYSE: GE), is a world-leading provider of jet and turboprop engines, components and integrated systems for commercial, military, business and general aviation aircraft. GE Aviation has a global service network to support these offerings.