North America:1 (800) 942-7767 International:+1 (937) 778-4200

Trailblazer Propeller on Homebuilt Glasair Sportsman 2 BL 7

Kitplane Propeller Selection: The Hartzell Difference

Date: March 14, 2023 Category: Blog Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

If you want to build an airplane, be prepared to exercise your decision-making skills!

From defining your mission and choosing a kit all the way to the minute details of picking a paint scheme, you can expect to make hundreds of choices in your journey as a homebuilder. One of the most important decisions you’ll make is selecting the propeller for your kitplane.

At Hartzell Propeller, we design, test, and manufacture our propellers for experimental aircraft to meet the same rigorous standards used for FAA-certified installations, with the goal of providing second-to-none performance, quality, and reliability. What makes Hartzell’s props different? Let’s take a closer look:

Rigorous Stress Testing

When a propeller blade fails during flight, the results can be catastrophic. That’s why Hartzell’s propellers are carefully engineered for optimal strength and rigorously tested to resist stress and fatigue problems. Our proven propeller technology is utilized by nearly every major OEM, so you can have the utmost confidence in your kitplane propeller choice.

Other manufacturers may not uphold the same testing and quality standards for their non-certified propellers. When used with an approved engine combination, certified airplane propellers offer less risk — and that adds up to greater peace of mind.


Popular kit manufacturers, such as Van’s Aircraft, have carefully tested and researched engine and aircraft propeller combinations for their aircraft. Save time and eliminate the guesswork by choosing one of their recommended powerplants for your kitplane. Many times, you can save significantly when you purchase your engine and propeller directly through a kitplane manufacturer like Van’s, which offers Hartzell props at a favorable price to their customers.

Ready to Install and Fly

Building and test-flying a homebuilt aircraft is hard enough without adding extra hurdles to the process. If you choose an uncertificated propeller (or engine), expect to expand the FAA Phase I flight testing period from 25 hours to 40 hours. After years of hard work, it’s easy to see why many builders would rather complete the test-flight program sooner rather than later.

Experimental Planes Don’t Necessarily Need Experimental Props

Bottom line: Your kitplane may be classified as “experimental,” but that doesn’t mean you have to install an experimental prop.

Choosing an approved aircraft engine and propeller combination can be one of the best decisions you make for the safety, performance, and reliability of your kitplane.

Hartzell Props for Homebuilders

Ready to find the perfect prop for your kitplane?

Hartzell Propeller has an extensive and evolving product line to support the experimental and kitplane market, including both aluminum and structural composite blade propellers compatible with a wide variety of engines.

Let our kitplane propeller experts help you find the right kitplane propeller suited for your aircraft, flying mission, and performance goals. Get started today!

Hartzell Propeller