Greetings from The Aero Experience Team


The Aero Experience is a celebration of Midwest aviation and aerospace achievement. We invite you to join us as we explore the treasures of Midwest aviation through first-hand experiences. Our contributors take turns flying lead, and we are always looking for new destinations. Check in with The Aero Experience frequently to see where we will land today, and then go out and have your own aero experiences!

Blue skies,

Carmelo Turdo, Mark Nankivil and Fred Harl - The Aero Experience Team

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

GT Propellers Powers Patrick McAlee Airshows - ExtremeFlight Through Second Season

By Carmelo Turdo
The Aero Experience concludes our coverage of Patrick McAlee's visit to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2019 with a look at the business end of the Pitts S-1GT, the Blue Demon. One easily notices the bright yellow blades, provided by sponsor GT Propellers, that have put 250 horsepower to motion for the last two airshow seasons. These propeller blades attracted many in the crowd to take a second look and admire the Blue Demon as they gathered at the airshow crowd line.

On Saturday, the blades were given an on-site inspection by Alessandro Tonini from GT Propellers. The epoxy fiberglass and carbon coated wood blades are custom-painted and durable, able to handle the demands of aerobatic flying as well as touring, STOL and other flight regimes. Patrick McAlee has adjusted his show to accentuate the improved performance and aesthetic appearance of the Blue Demon following the conversion to the new propeller, and audience response has been enthusiastic. Here, the custom propeller is featured in the official product brochure and below during our visit at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2019. 

The Aero Experience has been reporting on the installation and testing of the GT Propellers conversion over the last two years. Here we present a pictorial review of the process as it was carried out at Washington, MO Regional Airport with the help of Dennis McAlee and GT Propellers technical support. The original, two-bladed propeller is shown first, along with new installation and test flights with the new propeller in October 2017 through August of 2018. The 2018 airshow performance at Union City, TN is also included.


On Sunday, we were introduced to a 95% scale Spitfire propeller manufactured using the carbon-coated wood construction with a stainless steal leading edge. Two-blades can be fitted to engines producing up to 300hp, and three blades can be used with engines of up to 400hp. This particular model is made for the Nanchang CJ-6, the propeller of which spins in the opposite direction of those used on western aircraft. It is lighter than the metal propellers now used on this aircraft, and is corrosion-resistant. GT Propellers is well known for producing propellers for European aircraft, the Romanian Aerostar Yak-52 and the RV, Pitts and other Experimental aircraft in the U.S. The GT Propellers website contains a sample of the current products, and they are always willing to hear your ideas for a custom project for your aircraft.   

The Aero Experience thanks Patrick McAlee for visiting with us during our year-round coverage of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2019, sponsored by Elite Aviation, and we also thank his sponsors for being part of our recent series of posts. We look forward to another great year of airshow coverage in 2020!

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