Think a Utility Aircraft Can’t Be Rugged and Luxurious? Think Again.
While the Daher Kodiak 100 began life as a simple-to-fly backcountry airlift platform, it has since evolved into a highly versatile aircraft that can only be described as “a flying pickup truck with a muscle car engine and a luxury SUV interior.”
Engineered in the 21st century, the single-engine 10-seat short takeoff and landing (STOL) aircraft has introduced significant improvements over the years, from state-of-the-art avionics and safety features to the latest composite propeller technology from Hartzell Propeller.
A Modern Prop for a Modern Aircraft
In 2023, Daher and Hartzell Propeller debuted a new STC-approved Hartzell 5-blade composite propeller for the Kodiak 100 with Pratt & Whitney PT6A engine, available as a factory option and for retrofit under Hartzell’s Top Prop performance conversion program. The new propeller can replace the four-blade aluminum Hartzell prop, now standard equipment on Kodiak 100s.
“The Kodiak 100 fitted with the new composite propeller provides an upgrade in performance, noise signature, and ramp appeal,” said Nicolas Chabbert, Senior Vice President of Daher’s Aircraft Division. “Now, new customers and current owners have access to the latest composite propeller technology for the Kodiak 100, like its sister aircraft – the Kodiak 900 and TBM 960.”
Hartzell tailored the new propeller for application on the Kodiak 100, incorporating its lightweight Raptor hub technology. The aerodynamic design of the new propeller’s carbon fiber blades allows RPM to be reduced from 2,200 to 2,000 RPM, reducing noise significantly.
“Customers who have received the airplane are blown away with the changes to the noise signature,” said Chabbert. “At the same time, there is no trade-off in performance.”
“With the new lightweight propeller option, the Kodiak 100 offers a five percent shorter takeoff roll, with less vibration for smoother operation,” explained Hartzell Propeller President JJ Frigge. “We have worked with Daher for years on their TBM platform, and we are very pleased to continue our partnership, enabling their STOL Kodiak to perform even better in backcountry and bush flying missions.”
Backcountry Flying at Its Best
The Kodiak 100 was specifically designed to replace the world’s aging fleet of STOL aircraft, offering a more modern, powerful solution for getting in and out of unimproved strips in the backcountry.
In support of the ongoing protection, preservation, and improvement of backcountry airstrips, Daher’s Aircraft Division has partnered with the Recreational Aviation Foundation (RAF) to provide access to several Kodiak aircraft, including a Kodiak 100 with Hartzell’s 5-blade propeller upgrade.
The non-profit organization will utilize the aircraft’s impressive hauling capabilities for special projects, including transporting supplies and personnel to maintain and enhance difficult-to-reach airstrips used for recreation and often as staging areas for forest firefighting.
“At Daher, we’re happy to support the mission of the RAF,” said Chabbert. “The work to maintain these fantastic, remote fields is important to us, especially with Kodiak’s manufacturing base in Sandpoint, Idaho, near dozens of backcountry airstrips.”
Many Missions. One Aircraft.
A true backcountry workhorse, the Kodiak 100 is known for its multi-mission capabilities ranging from law enforcement, military, and medical operations to environmental support, humanitarian air relief, and even parachuting. One of the Kodiak 100’s primary missions is wilderness fire suppression.
In fact, Kodiak recently completed the first delivery of a Kodiak 100 with Hartzell’s new 5-blade prop to the State of North Carolina Department of Agriculture, Forest Service Division, which will use the aircraft as a “load plane” to carry equipment and supplies that support aerial tankers responding to wildfires.
“With its enormous useful load, off-airport capabilities, and simple and rugged design, the Kodiak 100 is ideal for a range of applications,” said Paul Carelli, Director of Kodiak Flight Operations and Special Missions. “Now, with Hartzell’s five-blade composite propeller, it’s also extremely quiet. This is a huge benefit when it comes to special missions such as law enforcement and forestry, but it’s also very important when flying recreationally in the backcountry environments enjoyed by the public.”
The 5-blade propeller upgrade is available immediately as a factory option on new Kodiak 100s and via the Hartzell Top Prop conversion program for the entire installed base of Kodiak 100 aircraft.
To request more information about Top Prop propeller conversions, visit HartzellProp.com/contact.