The mission: a durable, dependable, high-wing aircraft with horsepower to perform in takeoff, climb and cruise while hauling tremendous loads.
What will be required to lift and drive that aircraft: a heavy-duty and reliable propeller designed to enhance the performance of the aircraft — the McCauley Propeller C779.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently awarded the new C779 propeller certification, a feat that would not have been possible without collaboration between the hard-working teams of the Cessna SkyCourier certification program and McCauley Propeller group.
McCauley specifically designed the C779 propeller for the SkyCourier’s overarching mission: high utilization.
The SkyCourier team knew the parameters they wanted the new aircraft to meet, including engine power, RPM, maximum propeller diameter, maximum weight and required performance. The program needed a new propeller to meet its needs.
Designing an aircraft is complicated and takes collaboration between many engineers, designers and testers. Every element of the aircraft, including the propeller, must work within a specific set of parameters to reach the overall performance requirements of the aircraft.
For the C779, the McCauley design group met the required parameters, ensuring a smooth addition to the aircraft. “They got it right,” said Darrel Hornbaker, the SkyCourier’s lead project engineer. “McCauley did exceptional work and I’m grateful to work with such a team.”
After designing the new propeller and signing off on the specs, McCauley proceeded to build certification articles and begin testing. Scott Randle, McCauley’s project engineer, said the whole process went smoothly, with only specific tests needing to be done, as the team completed the rest with analytics.
The 135 hours of testing consisted of endurance, functional testing and a blade retention system test at twice the maximum centrifugal load of the propeller during normal operation.
According to Hornbaker, the schedule was very tight, but that was no obstacle for the McCauley group.
“With such a great team, it is no surprise that the program went smoothly and certified on schedule, ahead of the SkyCourier’s requirements,” said Van Long, an engineering manager for McCauley.
Given the scale of the new Cessna SkyCourier, the C779 is now the largest 4-blade propeller McCauley manufactures.
Without the passion and dedication of our team members here at McCauley, we would not be celebrating our 82nd year as a leading aircraft propeller manufacturer.Emily Zintak, McCauley Value Stream Manager
During his 30 years with Textron Aviation, Long said he has been fortunate to have quality coworkers.
“Without the passion and dedication of our team members here at McCauley, we would not be celebrating our 82nd year as a leading aircraft propeller manufacturer,” said McCauley Value Stream Manager, Emily Zintak. “We are so excited to welcome a new set of end-customers to the McCauley family that we will serve now and in the future.”
Looking ahead, Zintak said that she looks forward to seeing the business prosper through similar partnerships, both in the new product development as well as aftermarket space.