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Best Aircraft Propeller Manufacturers

When it comes to picking the perfect propeller, it is ok to be a perfectionist! The propeller is an essential element of any aircraft, with a range of options available to choose from. It is also imperative that you keep your propellers in the best possible form, which will require ongoing maintenance and work to keep them in tip-top condition, and ready for any adventure.

Contact us today at Stockton Propeller Inc, where we have the skills you need for all your propeller needs. From propeller overhaul and reconditioning to servicing, ongoing maintenance to total replacement – no matter your problem, we have the tools to help.

Our experienced team can offer assistance at every stage of your propeller’s life. Keep them looking and working their best with regular complete inspections to catch any problems early on.

We recommend doing a calendar inspection/reseal that includes blade dressing, repainting and rebalancing. We can even pick up and deliver your propeller, in the Northern California area, for your ultimate convenience!

Aircraft mechanic working on an engineWe carry out all of our work on-site, and our experienced technicians are highly trained and qualified in all areas of propeller overhaul, maintenance, repair, and modifications. We also all hold an authentic passion for aviation, which can be seen in our close attention to detail in every job.

We offer our services to FBOs, air carriers, flight schools and individuals and work with the following OEM’s:

  • Hamilton Standard
  • Hartzell
  • McCauley
  • MT
  • Raytheon
  • Sensenich
  • Woodward

As experts in the propeller world, we know a thing or two about the top manufacturers and make a point of only working with the best of the best. To help you make your decision, here is everything you need to know about our most popular propellers and manufacturers.

Cancelled stamp with Neil Armstrong taking the 1st step on the moonHamilton Standard

Although now part of Collins Aerospace, Hamilton Standard started life back in 1929, as the result of a consolidation between Transport Corporation and United Aircraft. The two companies combined Standard Steel Propeller with Hamilton Aero Manufacturing, to form what was, at the time, the largest manufacturer of aircraft propellers in the world.

The brand has a strong history of innovation, having developed its first environmental control system in 1958, followed by the delivery of automatic electronic systems to control the cabin pressure of aircraft. Their real-time to shine arrived during the 1969 Apollo 11 Moon landing, which featured fuel cells, life support and environmental control systems all manufactured by Hamilton Standard.

In 2012, Hamilton Standard merged with Goodrich Corporation to create UTC Aerospace Systems, and in 2018, merged again with Rockwell Collins to form Collins Aerospace. They continue to provide components and propellers to Boeing, Embraer, Bombardier, and Airbus.

Hartzell

Founded in 1917 by Robert Hartzell, and initially known as the Hartzell Walnut Propeller Company, headquartered in Ohio. They specialized in creating aluminum and composite propellers for homebuilt, certified, and ultralight aircraft and continue to this day.

The manufacturer started after Hartzell received a suggestion to create a propeller for his plane using walnut trees. The concept took off and started providing Liberty aircraft propellers for WWI planes shortly after that. Their progress continued steadily; in 1926, the brand created propellers for Aeronca C-2 and contributed to the war effort in WW2 by creating metal propellers for Hamilton Standard. They also produced the very first composite propellers for the Republic RC-3 Seabee and moved onto aluminum propellers in 1948.

The company continued to go from strength to strength and was awarded the first certification for an Advanced Structural Composite propeller by the FAA in 2006.

McCauley

McCauley Propeller Systems was created in 1938 by Earnest G McCauley and initially located in Ohio. Nowadays, the company headquarters are in Wichita, Kansas, with Textron Aviation as the owners. They are noted for the invention of the solid-steel, ground-adjustable propeller in 1941, as well as the forged aluminum propeller in 1946.

MT

Originating in Germany, MT-Propeller was founded by Gerd Muehlbauer in 1980, and remains a leading manufacturer of composite propellers, servicing single and twin-engine aircraft, as well as wind tunnels and airships.

Raytheon

Starting life as Hawker Beechcraft, Raytheon has a long and turbulent history as a company pulled from the brink of bankruptcy on more than one occasion. Despite the behind-the-scenes drama, they have worked steadily to establish a strong name within the industry, and have both the Beechcraft Baron and the Beechcraft Bonanza within their list of accomplishments.

Ultralight Airplane with green grass and trees in background

Sensenich

Sensenich Propeller was founded in America in 1932, formerly trading as Sensenich Brothers. Based in Pennsylvania, they create metal, wood, and composite propellers for aircraft and airboats, and work with ultralight, certified and homebuilt aircraft, as well as airboats.

Woodward

When it comes to history, Woodward is pretty formidable. They hold the status as the world’s oldest, largest independent designer, manufacturer, and service provider for not only propellers but control systems and their components. They started creating controls for water wheels, moving into aircraft propellers in the 1930s. Since then, they have continued to grow, expand, and develop, earning a sterling reputation for excellence and quality.

Leave It To The Pros!

If you need your carbon fiber Hartzell or MT propellers repaired and overhauled, or your Sensenich propeller fine-tuned, call us at Stockton Propeller Inc. We pride ourselves on only working with the very best manufacturers to ensure you’re flying with top quality every time. Get in touch for a free quote today, and rest assured that your propeller needs are in the hands of the experts!

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A Beginner’s Guide to Warbirds

What is a warbird? At first glance, you might think that the term warbird refers to any military plane that was designed specifically for war. You would be wrong to assume that.

Since we began having manned flights, there have been dozens of different types and designs of airplanes explicitly produced for war. From bombers to fighters to transports, the machines of war are a diverse group of flying machines.

However, not just the planes designed specifically for war fall into the category of warbirds. A warbird is any vintage military aircraft or civilian aircraft that was used during wartime.

Thankfully there are individuals and groups around the country that have been restoring, displaying, and flying vintage warplanes all around the world. Airshows have given enthusiasts of all ages the chance to see these magnificent aircraft both in flight and up close.

At Stockton Propeller, we love all propeller-driven planes. Whether you need total blade overhaul and reconditioning, or you are looking to repair and restore, we can meet your needs. Contact us for all your propeller repair and restoration needs. We have free mobile pick-up and delivery in our service areas.

In this brief examination of vintage warbirds, we will focus on three propeller-driven planes from World War II.

Curtiss P-40 Warhawk on a grass strip
Curtiss P-40 Warhawk

The Curtiss P-40 Warhawk

The P-40 Warhawk was first built in 1941 by the Curtiss-Wright Corporation. It was powered by the 1,360 horsepower Allison V-1717-81 inline piston engine, driving a three-bladed propeller on the nose.

The most famous flyers that took to the air in the P-40 Warhawk were the Flying Tigers of the American Volunteer Group, also known as the AVG. This iconic plane from World War II is quite easily recognized. The wide-open mouth, and piercing eyes of a shark, painted on the nose of the aircraft, just beneath the propeller.

The Flying Tigers operated with less than half the personnel typically assigned to a squadron of this size. Despite the uneven odds and thanks to the skilled pilots and the performance of the P-40, the Flying Tigers maintained a kill ratio much superior to other combat groups scattered around the Pacific theatre.

As of October 1997, there are only 19 airworthy P-40s left in operation, according to Warbirds Worldwide. Also, there are 25 P-40’s under restoration. It is unknown how many more P-40s have become airworthy since 1997.

There is one particular Warhawk in operation currently touring and performing in air shows around the country. Unlike the P-40s of the day, this one has a name, “American Dream.”

What makes this particular Warhawk so special is that it is an extremely rare two-seater! If you have ever wanted to fly in a vintage warbird, and are willing to pay the price, this plane could be your dream come true!

Grumman TBM Avenger coming for a landing
Grumman TBM Avenger

91 Grumman TBM Avenger

The Grumman TBM Avenger is powered by a 1,900 horsepower Wright T-2600-8 Cyclone 14 engine that drives a Hamilton-Standard variable pitch propeller, making this bird capable of reaching speeds of up to 271 MPH.

The TBM Avenger was designed as a torpedo bomber but had other capabilities in addition to torpedo bombing. Wing-mounted rockets, high explosive bombs, and the ability to strafe ground targets were all part of the Avengers arsenal.

Unlike most of its predecessors, whose torpedoes hung below the plane, the Avengers Mark 13 torpedos were stowed internally. This design innovation greatly reduced drag on the Avenger and significantly increased speed and range. In place of torpedoes, the Avenger could carry 2,000 pounds of bombs.

The Grumman 91 TBM Avenger first saw service in 1942 at the Battle of Midway. Sadly, out of a section of 6 Avengers sent from VT-8 in Hawaii, 5 of the Avengers were lost.

However, despite its inauspicious start in the fighting, the TBM Avenger proved to be a crucial asset to the air/sea war in the Pacific.

Along with its stellar war record, the Avenger is also famous for being the aircraft flown by the 41st president of the United States, George H. W. Bush. As a 19 -year-old naval aviator, George Bush was forced to bail out of his crippled plane near the island of Chichi-jima. Lieutenant Bush was later rescued by a submarine.

Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress
Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress

Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress

Perhaps the most famous heavy bomber of World War II was the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress. This four-engine propeller-driven war machine took its first flight on July 28, 1935.

A crowd of eager reporters anxious to get a first-hand viewing of Boeing’s newest bomber witnessed the event.

Eight years later, in 1943, the B-17 G model entered the war. Able to carry up to an 8,000-pound bomb load internally, and even more carried on external racks beneath the wings for shorter distance missions. Typically the B-17 carried about 4,000 pounds of ordinance on longer missions.

In addition to a very significant bomb load, this bomber had an impressive array of armaments, including 13 – 0.50 caliber machine guns! Two of the fifty caliber machine guns are mounted in a “chin” turret.

This innovation made it possible to fend off and defend against a head-on attack by enemy fighters. The bomber was operated by a crew of 10 and had a service ceiling of roughly 25,000 to 35,000 feet, depending on the weight of the payload.

As you can see, we’ve barely touched the surface on the subject of warbirds. These three planes are just a small sample of the kinds and types of warbirds currently in operation, and that you can witness at air shows all around the country.

At Stockton Propeller, we take propellers seriously. We work with the major propeller manufacturers and have the in-house expertise to repair and restore propellers to specification. Consider Stockton Propeller for all your propeller needs. Contact us for a free quote or to discuss your specific propeller needs.