For 100 years, Hartzell Propeller has designed, manufactured, and certified propellers for the aviation community. What better way to celebrate our 100th anniversary than by remembering our proudest historic achievements? This week, we’re highlighting the record-breaking Boeing Condor.
In 1989, the Boeing Condor completed at 141-hour flight test program, in which it set the record for the highest altitude ever achieved by a piston engine aircraft. An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), the Condor was designed to complete remote-controlled, high altitude missions. In its historic flight, the Condor stayed aloft for over two-and-a-half days at an altitude of 66,980 feet.
The Condor was built with carbon-fiber composite materials, and had a wingspan of 200 feet. Two custom-built three-bladed Hartzell propellers gave the Condor the boost and durability it needed to reach its unprecedented altitude.
Although the Condor was ultimately deemed too large for stealth missions, its record-breaking achievements were remembered for years to come. The Condor spurred huge advancements in aerodynamics, UAV technology, and propulsion, leading the way for progress in military, commercial, and civilian UAV aircraft.
The Boeing Condor was just the beginning of Hartzell’s experience designing high-performance UAV propellers. Today, Hartzell engineers still contribute to UAV innovation, designing advanced Bantam-series composite propellers. As we look back on Hartzell’s historic achievements, the Boeing Condor marks yet another way our engineering and manufacturing teams are committed to furthering the future of aviation.