The Answer to Engine Kick-Backs + Inside Turbo Design View as web page
Summer 2015 Forward to a friend
The latest in Hartzell news

HET Heads to AirVenture
E-Drive Starters, Turbo Design, Alternator Installation Tips & more...


As you read this, the Hartzell team is gearing up for EAA AirVenture. Many of us refer to it simply as Oshkosh. In our business this is an annual ritual because Oshkosh has become THE trade show for General Aviation. I’ve been going to Oshkosh for over 20 years now (having missed a few years here and there during that time) and the evolution of this show has been phenomenal. Over the years I’ve seen it transform from a county fair atmosphere (ok maybe a state fair because it was pretty big even in the early '90s) catering mainly to experimental kit builders to today’s showcase of nearly everything General Aviation has to offer – from home built aircraft to biz jets. Last year’s attendance topped 500,000, with over 10,000 aircraft arrivals at OSH. It should be on every pilot’s bucket list.

Going forward, each issue of Vectors will have feature stories on Products, Technology and Maintenance. In this issue, you will find articles on our E-Drive Starter, our Turbocharger design capability, and a story about the proper installation of gear driven Alternators.

HET’s E-Drive Starter for Lycoming engines is gaining popularity among back-country flyers for its strong, robust, feature-rich design. Back-country flyers don’t want to be stranded out in the middle of nowhere, so it’s a powerful endorsement. These characteristics are just as beneficial to everyday flyers as they are to back-country flyers – so the article provides some insight into its design.

Over the past decade or so, there hasn’t been much demand for new turbo designs, so internal engineering capability had atrophied. Since HET was formed in 2010, we’ve seen renewed interest in new engine designs, particularly Jet-A fueled diesels, so we’ve executed on a plan to re-establish turbo design capability. We’ll tell you about what we’ve done inside.

It’s surprising how many mis-installed gear driven alternator issues we see. These installations are really quite simple, but as with many things, they aren’t forgiving to errors. The installation article in this issue provides pointers to help installers get it right.

Finally, HET congratulates Cirrus Aircraft on achieving the milestone of 6,000 aircraft delivered. This impressive achievement was attained in only 16 years! HET proudly supplies alternators and turbocharger systems for the SR models and will be supplying the alternator for the upcoming SF-50 Vision jet.

We hope to see you at Oshkosh. We'll be in space 296-297 in the Main Display Area.


Mike Disbrow, President
Hartzell Engine Technologies



Hartzell's Answer to Engine Kick-Backs: The E-Drive Starter

Between the good weather and, even better, vacation breaks, summer time is definitely flying time. And if there’s one thing that can ruin even the best laid plans it’s having your starter knocked out by a kick-back event. The worst part is they seem to increase with the temperature.
“Kick-back events during summer starts are not uncommon at all,” explained Rick Quave, Vice President – Engineering at Hartzell Engine Technologies. “Since most aircraft engines have large cylinder volumes and relatively low starting speed, they are much more susceptible to pre-ignition than their automotive brethren. Improper magneto timing, worn impulse couplings or malfunctioning shower-of-sparks systems are all common causes of pre-ignition or kick-back.”



Developing HET's Turbocharger Technology

During the height of general aviation’s boom in the ‘60s and ‘70s, Garrett AiResearch was busy developing a variety of new turbocharger designs for the rapidly expanding business and private aircraft markets.

When that market slowed, so did Garrett’s need to continue to improve on turbocharger designs. By the time Honeywell (by then the owner of the Garrett AiResearch part of the business) sold their aviation turbocharger line to our predecessor in 2000, there was essentially no demand for new turbocharger designs.



Tech Tip:  Alternator Drive Couplings – Careful Installation Required!

I have to say that this year’s airshow season is off to a great start. Sun ‘n Fun was excellent. And the Alaska Airman’s Association’s Great Alaska Aviation Gathering in Anchorage was once again, one of my favorite events of the year. Not only is the scenery truly spectacular, but I get to talk to a lot of very passionate HET customers.

While I get a lot of great questions, one topic that comes up all the time is how to avoid the problem of alternator and engine damage caused by the improper installation of the alternator on Continental engines.


Upcoming Events

Gathering at Waupaca

Cessna Flyer and Piper Flyer's Pre-Oshkosh Event


July  19


Waupaca, WI

Booth or Space #

Comfort Suites Foxfire

Presentation on Generator to Alternator Conversions


EAA AirVenture

General Aviation's Premier Event


July 20-26


Oshkosh, WI

Booth or Space #

296-297 Main Display Area

Displaying products from all HET lines, including Plane-Power.
Co-Exhibiting with Hartzell Propeller.


COPA Migration 13

Cirrus Owner's and Pilot's Association Annual Event


September 10-13


Addison, TX

Booth or Space #


Held at the InterContinental Dallas hotel


ABS Annual Convention

American Bonanza Society's Annual Event


October 1-3


Kissimmee, FL

Booth or Space #


Held at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center


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