Hartzell Buys WhirlWind


The consolidation of general aviation continues with the announcement today that Hartzell has purchased WhirlWind Propellers. Hartzell is actually part of a much larger group of aviation companies under Arcline Investment Management, and in this move has acquired perhaps its most vexing competitor. Begun by Jim Rust in 1995, WhirlWind began with simple fixed-pitch and ground-adjustable props but has seen recent success going toe-to-toe with Hartzell’s product line in the Experimental realm.

Rust developed a proprietary nickel-deposition system for the leading edges of his composite props, and has continued to develop both the blade designs (aerodynamically and for weight reduction) and hub configurations over the years. Recently, Rust brought the constant-speed side of the business in house to San Diego from a contractor in Ohio.

Hartzell has said it will continue the WhirlWind product line, which includes two- and three-blade constant-speed props, though no word on pricing has been announced. WhirlWind props have typically been less expensive than similar Hartzell models, which makes sense when you consider they don’t have to be certified. On the other hand, Hartzell has a much larger service network than WhirlWind.

JJ Frigge, President of Hartzell Propeller, commented, “The acquisition allows Hartzell to further expand WhirlWind’s rapid propeller development capabilities for the design, tooling and manufacturing of advanced carbon composite propellers.”

In the announcement, Hartzell says it will “retain the services of Jim Rust, former President of WhirlWind Propellers. Rust’s technological expertise with rapid prototyping composite propeller systems further enhances Hartzell’s existing capabilities.” Jim Rust himself says, “I am excited to be part of the Hartzell Propeller team and eager to see the WhirlWind brand continue to thrive under Hartzell’s leadership.”

More information: https://whirlwindpropellers.com/aircraft/


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