Hartzell Propeller Acquires Tanis Aircraft Products Assets


Ohio-based Hartzell Propeller has acquired the assets of Minnesota’s Tanis Aircraft Products, which is best known for its engine preheat systems for light airplanes and helicopters. The new acquisition will operate under the umbrella of Hartzell’s heating products, which will now include not only propeller de-icing systems, but preheating technology for piston and turbine engines, helicopters, batteries, avionics and cabins.

Hartzell Propeller President JJ Frigge said, “We continue to look for opportunities to make direct, long-term investments in value-added manufacturing companies that complement our existing portfolio or leverage core competencies.”

Tanis President and CEO Douglas Evink will now serve as Hartzell Propeller vice president of sales for the Tanis business unit. Engineering, sales and administrative operations for Tanis will remain nearby the Anoka County Airport, near Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The Tanis multi-point preheat system heat-soaks engines, keeping them above dew point to combat corrosion-causing condensation, which forms when warm oil and water vapor rise from an oil pan and hit colder surfaces such as cylinder heads. 

By making engine temperatures and tolerances more uniform throughout the powerplant prior to start-up in frigid conditions, preheating reduces wear during that particularly vulnerable time. The Tanis piston preheat system has a patented threaded element that can be placed in the rocker cover or intake to fully heat the cylinder head, enabling heat to warm the engine cylinders more uniformly.

Mark Phelps
Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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  1. Sounds useful.

    I presume the ‘element’ thingy threads into the hole for a bolt attaching the cover to the head, for better heat transfer.