GE’s 1000th Dowty Propeller System Makes First Flight On C-130J


  Bookmark and Share

GE’s 1000th Dowty Propeller System Makes First Flight On C-130J

By Mike Mitchell

December 30, 2010 - GE Aviation joins Lockheed Martin to mark the 1000th Dowty advanced propeller system on a C-130J aircraft. The first flight took place December 20 at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta, Georgia. The C-130J will be delivered to Dyess Air Force Base by year’s end.  

Dowty Rotol is a British manufacturing company based in Cheltenham manufacturing propellers. The Company was formed as Rotol Airscrews in 1937 by Rolls-Royce and Bristol Engines to take over both companies' propeller development, the market being too small to really need more than one company in this space.

The name is a contraction of "ROlls-Royce" and "BrisTOL". Rotol's props were always considered leading edge, its models equipping the Hawker Hurricane, Supermarine Spitfire, and many other Second World War-era aircraft. By the end of the war it had introduced the first five-bladed propeller to see widespread use, used on late-model Spitfires.

In 1960 the Company merged with Dowty Equipment and continued as a subsidiary of what became Dowty Group. In 1968 the company introduced the first fibreglass propellers, which went on to see widespread use. Since then it has migrated to carbon fibre, and remains a leader in propeller design. 

Dowty's current propeller lineup is used on many turboprop feederliners, including the Dash 8Q400, Saab 340 and Saab 2000, as well as turboprop transport aircraft such as the latest models of the C-130J and Alenia C-27. Dowty Propellers can also be found on LCAC's from the United States Navy and other militaries.  

Performing the C-130J's flight were Lockheed Martin test pilots Dick Shroeder and P R Helm. Oliver Towers, president of Dowty Propellers said: “We have provided the propeller system for the C-130J since 1994. The high integrity of the all-composite propeller system significantly contributes to the overall efficiency of the C-130J. Our Gloucester, UK propellers team is proud to help support successful missions for C-130J operators worldwide.”

The six-bladed R391 propeller for the Lockheed Martin Hercules C-130J aircraft includes high-integrity all-composite blades with unmatched 25-year record of operational reliability. The propellers include a fail-safe electronic control system and low maintenance costs with a modular configuration and low parts count.


The Lockheed Martin C-130J "Super" Hercules is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft. The C-130J is a comprehensive update of the venerable Lockheed C-130 Hercules, with new engines, flight deck, and other systems. The Hercules family has the longest continuous production run of any military aircraft in history. During more than 50 years of service, the family has participated in military, civilian and humanitarian aid operations.

The Hercules has outlived several planned successor designs, most notably the Advanced Medium STOL Transport contestants. Fifteen nations have placed orders for a total of 300 C-130Js, of which 206 aircraft have been delivered by December 2010.

Other News Stories


Home Aviation News Aviation Stories Of Interest FAA Exam Upcoming Events Links To Other Sites General Aviation Helicopters Medical Factors Facing Pilots
Maintenance and Aircraft Mechanics Hot Air Balloon Aviation Training Handbooks Read Online Aviation History Legal Issues In Aviation Sea Planes Editorials
 ©AvStop Online Magazine                                                                 Contact Us                                                  Return To News                                          Bookmark and Share


AvStop Aviation News and Resource Online Magazine

Grab this Headline Animator