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Hartzell Propeller was founded in 1917 by Robert N. Hartzell as the Hartzell Walnut Propeller Company.[1] It is an American manufacturer of composite and aluminum propellers for certified, homebuilt and ultralight aircraft. The company headquarters is located in Piqua, Ohio.[2]

Hartzell Propeller
FounderRobert Hartzell
Key people
Joe Brown (President)
ProductsAircraft propellers Edit this on Wikidata

Hartzell produces propellers, spinners, governors, ice protection systems and other propeller controls.[2][3]


A Hartzell propeller on a Cirrus SR22T in 2018

Robert Hartzell grew up in the village of Oakwood, Ohio just a block from Hawthorn Hill, where Orville Wright lived.[4] From the 1890s until the late 1910s, Hartzell's father and grandfather operated a sawmill and lumber supply company in Greenville, Ohio (later moved to Piqua, Ohio) that also manufactured items like wagons and gun stocks for World War I.[5][6] On the side, Robert owned a small airplane and did maintenance on it as a young man. In 1917, Orville Wright suggested that Hartzell use his walnut trees to manufacture an aircraft propeller for his plane and others. As a result, Robert Hartzell founded the Hartzell Walnut Propeller Company in Piqua that same year, and the company provided "Liberty" aircraft propellers for World War I warplanes.[7][8]

After the war, Hartzell Propeller built its own airplanes, including the FC-1 (the first aircraft made entirely of plywood).[9] The FC-1 took first place in the Flying Club of St. Louis Trophy Race at the 1923 International Air Meet.[9] An alteration to the wings resulted in the improved FC-2 model, which won over aircraft from the Waco Aircraft Company and the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company) at the 1924 International Air Races in Dayton, Ohio. Hartzell stopped producing aircraft to avoid competing with its own propeller customers.[9] In 1926, Hartzell began building propellers for the Aeronca C-2.[10]

During World War II the company produced metal propellers for Hamilton-Standard. After the war, Hartzell produced the first composite propellers for the Republic RC-3 Seabee. Hartzell began making aluminum propellers in 1948 and developed the first full-feathering propellers for a light twin-engine aircraft in the 1950s. These were used in the Aero Commander, Piper Apache, Cessna 310, and Beech Twin Bonanza.[11]

Hartzell introduced a turboprop propeller in 1961 and in 1975 certified a 5-bladed propeller for the Shorts 330.[9][12] In 1978, the company produced a composite aramid fiber propeller for the CASA 212.[13] In 1989, Hartzell produced sixteen-foot propellers for the Boeing Condor, another record-breaking aircraft.[11]

Hartzell introduced Top-Prop, replacement propellers for piston-engine aircraft, in 1991, and sold 20,000 Top-Prop conversion kits from 1991 to 2013.[14]

In 1994, the company held the first Friends of Hartzell Air Show in Piqua, Ohio.[15] for which Hartzell developed its first aerobatic system. In 2013, the Red Bull Air Race World Championship chose Hartzell to provide 3-blade composite propellers, carbon fiber composite spinners, and governors to race teams.[16] In 2006, the FAA granted Hartzell the first certification for an Advanced Structural Composite (ASC II) propeller for general aviation.[17]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Aerial Age: 4. 15 March 1920. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ a b Purdy, Don: AeroCrafter - Homebuilt Aircraft Sourcebook, page 84. BAI Communications. ISBN 0-9636409-4-1
  3. ^ Hartzell Propeller (2009). "Product Applications". Retrieved 8 February 2012.
  4. ^ W., Ronald, Bruce (1983). Oakwood : the Far Hills. Ronald, Virginia., Oakwood Historical Society. Dayton, Ohio: Reflections Press. ISBN 091342840X. OCLC 10430349.
  5. ^ Hartzell Air Movement (2012). "Annual Report". Retrieved 17 January 2014.
  6. ^ Computerized Heritage Association (1999). "Memiors of the Miami Valley, George W. Hartzell". Retrieved 17 January 2014.
  7. ^ The Cincinnati Enquirer (2003). "Hartzell Propeller Still Building on Historic Past". Retrieved 17 January 2014.
  8. ^ (2005). "Early WWI Era Propellers". Retrieved 17 January 2014.
  9. ^ a b c d Keisel, Ken: Dayton Aviation: The Wright Brothers to McCook Field, page 126. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 9780738593890
  10. ^ The Aeronca Museum (1930). "Archive Database Record Details". Retrieved 17 January 2014.
  11. ^ a b Janet R. Daly Bednarek, Michael H. Bednarek: Dreams of Flight: General Aviation in the United States, page 142-143. Texas A&M University Press. ISBN 1585442577
  12. ^ Conklin & de Decker Aviation Information (1930). "Aircraftpedia". Retrieved 21 January 2014.
  13. ^ (1930). "Hartzell/Hartzite". Retrieved 21 January 2014.
  14. ^ General Aviation News (29 July 2013). "Hartzell Top Prop 20,000 Ready to Take to the Air". Retrieved 22 January 2014.
  15. ^ Hartzell Propeller. "A Long History of Innovation". Retrieved 22 January 2014.
  16. ^ General Aviation News (13 November 2013). "Red Bull Taps Hartzell for Race Plane Props". Retrieved January 22, 2014.
  17. ^ Aero News Network (24 July 2006). "Hartzell Intro's ASC-II Composite Prop". Retrieved 22 January 2014.

External linksEdit