RFDS Western Operations' conversion of its PC-12 fleet from aluminium four-blade propellers to next generation five-blade propellers made out of carbon-fibre composite is a first for RFDS aircraft anywhere across Australia.
The Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) in Western Australia is boosting the performance of its PC-12 turboprop aircraft fleet by re-configuring and modernising its propeller system.
The conversion from aluminium four-blade propellers to five-blade propellers made out of carbon-fibre composite is a first for RFDS aircraft anywhere across Australia.
The Pilatus-built PC-12 turboprop aircraft was repurposed to serve as flying Intensive Care Units and introduced into Western Australian skies by the RFDS in 2001.
RFDS Head of Engineering Andy Lewis said the new propeller system will maximise aircraft performance and increase patient comfort with less vibrations to be expected during flight.
“The new propellers are lighter, stronger, require less maintenance and provide more torque which enables the aircraft to fly better and ultimately saves on fuel,” Andy said.
RFDS Western Operations has an in-house team of avionic and airframe engineers, technical record keepers, maintenance planners and logistics experts based at Jandakot who ensure its fleet is maintained to the highest standard.
The team is responsible for the maintenance of every part on every aircraft.