Columbia planes were originally certified with Hartzell props. As per the Type Certificate, the 300 uses Hartzell part no PHC-J3YF-1RF/F7691D-1, the 350 uses PHC-J3YF-1RF/F7691D-1 or PHC-J3YF-1RF/F7691DK-1 (without and with Hartzell hotprop respectively) and 400 uses HC-H3YF-1RF/F7693DF or HC-H3YF-1RF/F7693DFK (ditto).

The 350s switched to McCauley around 2006 (for reasons unknown) and once Cessna took over, this trend was strengthened further as McCauley is a Textron brand so as of Feb2010, 400s get McCauley props too.
Columbia 400 with a Hartzell constant speed propeller
Performance difference between the two is negligible and similarly, there is no W&B difference. There are reports though that Hartzell may offer a smoother (less vibration) ride.

Propeller operation

The -1 Series propellers are constant speed, non-counterweighted propellers. The propellers are capable of blade angles between a low positive pitch (low pitch) and high positive pitch (high pitch). This model series is not equipped with an air charge and does not feather.

Centrifugal twisting moment acting on the blades moves the blades to a low blade angle (low pitch) to increase RPM. Since the centrifugal twisting moment is only present when the propeller is rotating, a mechanical spring is installed within the propeller to assist movement of the blades to a lower pitch position as RPM decays, and to reduce the propeller pitch to the low pitch stop when the propeller is static. With the blades at low pitch, the load on the starter when starting the engine is reduced significantly.

Oil pressure opposes the spring and centrifugal twisting moment to move the blades to a high blade angle (high pitch), reducing engine RPM.

If oil pressure is lost at any time, the propeller will move to low pitch. This occurs because the spring and blade centrifugal twisting moment are no longer opposed by hydraulic oil pressure. The propeller will then reduce blade pitch to the low pitch stop.
Cutaway of -1 Series Constant Speed, Non-Counterweighted Propeller

Field Service Info

Various SBs and SLs are available online on Hartzell's website.

Maintenance info is available here.


  1. Hartzell website