The U.S. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center recently contracted Raytheon Technologies’ Collins Aerospace business to continue producing new, advanced propellers for C-130 aircraft. Work will be performed in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. NP2000 is an eight composite bladed propeller system designed for performance.
The $135M contract will allow Collins to manufacture and support new NP2000 propeller systems, including the electronic control system and spares. The NP2000 propeller system is designed to modernize the C-130 Hercules and E-2 Hawkeye.
“Reliability and maintainability are important to our customers,” said Quinlan Lyte, senior director for propeller systems at Collins Aerospace. “We are retrofitting the Air Force’s fleet to improve performance, increase flight safety and lower operating cost.”
The NP2000 offers eight composite blades and digital EPCS providing operators reduced vibration and interior noise while improving speed holding and blade synchronization. The NP2000 reduces maintenance time and cost, while providing valuable diagnostics for aircraft maintenance teams. Unlike the existing propeller system, 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 labor hours. Over the remaining lifespan of the C-130, this could equal to millions in savings.
This propeller system shortens heavyweight take off by approximately 300 meters with up to 20 percent greater propeller takeoff thrust. And by lowering airframe noise and vibration, the MTBF of additional aircraft systems increase, while crew fatigue can decrease. With more than 1,000,000 flight hours, the NP2000 is military qualified, operating globally on the E-2 and C-130 fleets. Collins Aerospace remains committed to ensuring the C-130 fleets fly well into the future. In addition to the C-130, the NP2000 is available for the Northrop Grumman E-2 and C-2 and is planned for use on the Lockheed Martin P-3.