L'Hotellier Swivel Joint Connectors

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Well-Known Member
Jul 26, 2010
Waukesha, WI.
I am looking for a source for new or used and "serviceable" L'Hotellier swivel joint connectors for my sailplane project. The connectors could have a ball diameter of 9 or 12mm and the ball stem being 11-12 mm long measured from the shoulder to the centre of the ball. These are not the in-line connectors.


Victor Bravo

Well-Known Member
Jul 30, 2014
KWHP, Los Angeles CA, USA
They are the standard "quick disconnect" ball joint for sailplane controls for almost 40 years. This includes numerous type certified gliders and motorgliders. They work GREAT, but they have had some problems in the past because people did not safety them properly. Several fixes were offered, from simple to complex. I've flown hundreds and hundreds of hours with these fittings in sailplanes, with no problems. But it requires you to manually test the connection by trying to pull it apart... every flight.

It is essentially a miniature version of a standard ball type trailer hitch.

A quick Google search found Midwest Controls, which makes an industrial version of this type connector.

The name is pronounced "Low-Tell-Yay", originally from the Louis L'Hotellier company in France, now a part of UTC. The name originally meant "The hotelier", or someone in the hotel business. (Finally those years studying in French speaking school have paid off! Who woulda thunk!)

BJC you would not have any reason to know about this judging from your avatar. You would not, and should not, be caught dead using this type of fitting in a Pitts. It would be the worst possible application for this product. If you ever see one being used on the primary controls in a Pitts, hit that person in the head with a frying pan for me. Carb heat, throttle, alternate air... no problem.
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Reactions: BJC
Aug 15, 2013
Western US
Necro-post, but relevant... can anyone tell me where can I purchase some of the L'Hotellier fittings for my project? ...
If RAS is to be believed, you can get them from SH:


I checked all my usual sources, and it does not seem that these parts are generally available outside of the European sailplane manufacturing community. My guess is that they are now made on an as-needed basis and delivered furtively in the dead of night.

... Has anyone come up with a better or safer quick-disconnect fitting, with no loose hardware, that is available?
Autoconnect funnels? ;)

Edited to add:

With a little more searching, it appears to me that L'Hotellier is a division Kidde Aerospace, which appears to be a division of UTC Aerospace Systems:



There does not appear to be any retail exposure for the L'Hotellier quick-disconnect products.

Thanks, Bob K.
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