End of an Era

April 4, 2015

After 18 months of not getting a single order for a racing or aerobatic propeller I have decided to stop making them.  It is expensive to keep certain materials used to make composite propellers in stock that have limited shelf lives. There is physical hard labor involved in making them the way that I make them.  I’m sure someone else could figure out how to do it easier.  I have been able to survive by performing aircraft related jobs around the airport- welding, machining, composites fabrication, etc.  I also have become seriously addicted to cross country soaring and I want to devote as much time to that as possible.  I now have a good backlog of work to survive for the rest of the year.

I want to thank George Applebay (RIP): sailplane designer, composites pioneer, Soaring Hall of Fame Member, and friend for 45 years for teaching me so many things which ultimately resulted in first Owens Composites, Inc followed by Twisted Composites, LLC.  The skills I learned working for George are what I am now using to remain in business.

I especially want to thank Jon and Patricia Sharp of Nemesis Air Racing.  Jon needed a strong propeller for his AeroMagic F1 race plane and was brave enough to test the first one I made for him and many more over the years.  I have greatly benefited from their long-time friendship, foresight, winning ways, composites expertise, and ability to encourage the best efforts from people.

I want to thank Glenn Maben (RIP) for encouraging me to start building aerobatic props.  He saw one of Jon Sharp’s racing props and had to have a similar one for his Pitts.  He was convinced that there was a place for unlimited aerobatics performed in Pitts aircraft using fixed-pitch propellers.  He tested the first acro prop I made and continuously encouraged me until his untimely and tragic death in the ill-fated Spectrum Jet.

I also want to thank my many loyal customers over the past 26 years. I will continue to be available for inspections, refurbishment, leading edge tape, etc.  I hope my Formula One friends and customers will continue to use extreme caution because there is no other activity which provides a worse environment for a propeller.

Finally, I lovingly acknowledge the infinite support of my beautiful wife, Lilly.  She is incredibly smart and earns the real money in our family allowing me to chase my crazy dreams and have a wonderful life running a pretend business at a great airport.  Thanks, Sweetheart.

Anyway, be safe out there and keep in touch.


Steve Hill

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