Prop War?

Whirlwind composite prop on David Sterling’s Lancair
This Whirlwind composite on David Sterling’s Lancair is the latest go-fast prop in the Reno Sport Gold pits.

For years Hartzell has ruled the roost in Sport class racing around the pylons at Reno. Their "race prop," as it’s universally called, has been found faithfully propelling nearly every front runner Glasair and Lancair for over a decade and it’s responded well as race speeds have steadily climbed.

McCauley prop on Andrew Findlay’s Lancair
The McCauley on Andrew Findlay’s Lancair was new last year.

But a glance around the Sport Gold hangar at Reno shows some new hardware on some of the fast movers. Last year, as we recently reported, McCauley stepped with a new, small-diameter scimitar for Andrew Findlay’s Lancair, and now David Sterling is sporting a Whirlwind composite constant speed with newly designed blades on his Lancair. So far the fastest man in Sport, Jeff LaVelle, has remained faithful to the time-tested Hartzell, but the hangar gossip is Hartzell is working on a new race prop.

If we were betting types, we’d say the prop folks are upping their game via Reno racing, which sounds like a win for everybody.

Hartzell’s race prop on Jeff LaVelle’s Glasair
Hartzell’s race prop is still the fastest on Jeff LaVelle’s Glasair.

Tom Wilson

Tom Wilson is a professional magazine writer and nurtures an ongoing affair with all things internal combustion. His writing is most often found in automotive magazines, but aviation is his first love. Working as a line boy, he learned to fly while in high school, but still hasn't mastered the art of keeping a paper chart in an open cockpit.

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