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Hartzell Propeller Celebrating 100th Anniversary

During WWI, Hartzell supplied warplanes with Liberty aircraft propellers. In the 1920s, the word 'liberty' was removed from Hartzell propellers, and replaced with the phrase 'Built on Honor.'
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Over the years, Hartzell Propeller has built more than 500,000 propellers for both piston and turbine powered aircraft.

Hartzell Propeller’s 100th anniversary has arrived, and the company is planning a series of events to celebrate the milestone with its customers. According to Hartzell Propeller President Joe Brown, the company has followed the mantra ‘Built on Honor,‘ for the last century, and they plan to continue following the mantra by “setting the industry’s very best propeller design and manufacturing standards into the future. Our individual customers and aircraft manufacturers have come to anticipate the ultimate performance from us and we will strive to keep exceeding expectations in the decades to come.

Hartzell Propeller’s Wright Beginning

Over the years, Hartzell Propeller says that they’ve built more than 500,000 propellers for both piston and turbine powered aircraft, in a variety of different shapes, sizes, and descriptions. And according to the company, it all began when founder Robert Hartzell received some advice from his friend, legendary aviation pioneer Orville Wright. Hartzell, an aviation enthusiast and aircraft mechanic, had been noticing the high rate of failure among wooden propellers of the time, and the younger of the Wright Brothers suggested that Hartzell use walnut in order to manufacture more reliable aircraft propellers.

This valuable piece of advice marked the beginning of the Hartzell Walnut Propeller Company in Piqua, OH. Hartzell, with the help of his only employee at the time, began to carve some of his first propellers from logs of walnut using hand axes. During WWI, Hartzell supplied warplanes with Liberty aircraft propellers. In the 1920s, the word ‘liberty’ was removed from Hartzell propellers, and replaced with the phrase ‘Built on Honor.’ That phrase has been included on every Hartzell propeller since that time.

Close up of Hartzell Propeller Blade - Hartzell Propeller's 100th Anniversary This Year

Image courtesy of Hartzell Propeller

Hartzell Propeller eventually abandoned wooden propellers in favor of “aerospace grade aluminum and structural composite,” and now designs their propellers with “blended airfoil technology and manufactures them with revolutionary machining centers, robotics, and custom resin transfer molding curing stations.

General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) President and CEO Pete Bunce says that Hartzell represents the heart and soul of general aviation, adding that “When you are talking about being around for a full century, it is no secret that everyone knows the product that Hartzell produces. I love going to Piqua and visiting the facility, getting to see the next project that is going on. I also love being in the plant and getting the sense of people and their commitment to their products and to this great industry.

Airshow Schedule for Hartzell Propeller’s 100th Anniversary Celebration

During Hartzell’s 100th anniversary year, they’ve planned a packed airshow schedule, starting with the upcoming Sun ‘n Fun Fly-In and Expo next month:

Sun ‘n Fun Apr. 4 – 9, 2017 Lakeland, Florida
AERO Friedrichshafen Apr. 5 – 8, 2017 Friedrichshafen, Germany
Regional Air Cargo Carriers Association (RACCA) Apr. 25 – 27, 2017 Scottsdale, Arizona
Great Alaska Aviation Gathering May 6 – 7, 2017 Anchorage, Alaska
Xponential 2017 (AUVSI) May 8 – 11, 2017 Dallas, Texas
Valdez Fly-in May 12 – 14, 2017 Valdez, Alaska
EBACE May 22 – 24, 2017 Geneva, Switzerland
Pilatus Owners and Pilots Association (POPA) Jun. 8 – 10, 2017 Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
EAA AirVenture Jul. 24 – 30, 2017 Oshkosh, Wisconsin
NBAA Oct. 10 – 12, 2017 Las Vegas, Nevada
TBM Owners and Pilots Association (TBMOPA) Oct. 18 – 22, 2017 San Antonio, Texas
National Agricultural Aviation Association (NAAA) Dec. 4 – 7, 2017 Savannah, Georgia


In addition, Brown says that internally, the company will be engaging in some special celebrations with their employees, retirees, and their families “because the people of Hartzell have poured their heart and soul into this family owned business that has never, ever lost sight of where we came from or where we are headed.

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