Whirlwind Propeller Company, El Cajon, CA

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TXFlyGuy

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Has anyone here ever had any dealings with Whirlwind? How was your experience? Is their customer service good, bad, or indifferent?
 

Victor Bravo

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Jim Rust is first class, almost always the smartest guy in the room, and one hell of a craftsman. Top quality in everything he does. He built the most aerodynamically clean and optimized Wittman Tailwind you ever saw. Very rare combination of smart, clever, talented, good business sense, high credibility, and still very humble and friendly.
 

TXFlyGuy

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Jim Rust is first class, almost always the smartest guy in the room, and one hell of a craftsman. Top quality in everything he does. He built the most aerodynamically clean and optimized Wittman Tailwind you ever saw. Very rare combination of smart, clever, talented, good business sense, high credibility, and still very humble and friendly.

This is very reassuring for me. He has been working on my new, clean sheet of paper design, 92" propeller. The prop is actually for Titan Aircraft (Whirlwind Aviation), but I am the ultimate customer. The prop is bought and paid for.
 

BJC

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Everyone I know that deals with them are very happy customers. Jim Rust is a stand up guy!

Jim Rust is first class, almost always the smartest guy in the room, and one hell of a craftsman. Top quality in everything he does. He built the most aerodynamically clean and optimized Wittman Tailwind you ever saw. Very rare combination of smart, clever, talented, good business sense, high credibility, and still very humble and friendly.

This is very reassuring for me. He has been working on my new, clean sheet of paper design, 92" propeller. The prop is actually for Titan Aircraft (Whirlwind Aviation), but I am the ultimate customer. The prop is bought and paid for.

You have nothing to worry about with Jim and his crew. You have one of the smartest propeller guys on Planet earth on the job.
I do not know Mr. Rust, but in another thread, Tex wrote this
The prop is coming from Whirlwind Propeller, in El Cajon, CA. It was supposed to be here over a year ago. Then they said last September. Now they say December.
so something seems not right.


BJC
 

TXFlyGuy

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Correct. Something was not right. But those issues have been addressed, and we are full speed ahead! This is all good news to me, and the other customers for this propeller.
 

TFF

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I don't know Jim Rust, but his reputation is impeccable. Now about your prop, what were the conditions of them building it? There has to be some type of problem that you may not be happy with but would explain the situation. If there is some engineering or manufacturing problem, I would think they would tell you. Since Titan is doing the deal, they might have given the hint there is no rush? i have had that happen to me before when companies who I need to buy from were fighting over development costs of who was going to pay for them.
 

TXFlyGuy

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The cause of the delay is not something anyone would share with me, other than there were problems. Not of a technical nature, but other problems. It has been dealt with to the best of my understanding. I'm pretty sure it did not involve dollars, or overall cost.

There was a design issue, as the original diameter was to be 96". Then later down the road, it became 94". Most recently it has become 92".

It was interesting to learn that Hartzell came up with a 92" design as ideal for the Stewart Mustang, nearly 3 decades ago.

Jim Rust has tweaked this new prop many times, in the interest of high efficiency with the airfoil design. It is being made specifically with the power of the LS3 Chevy in mind (480hp), and should way outperform the current 84" prop. That was designed for the 180 hp V6 Suzuki. Not very efficient overall. Its a surprise that it works as well as it does with the V8.

That's all I know.
 

TXFlyGuy

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Here is the latest. This is not meant to cast a negative light on anyone, living or dead, nor on any corporate entity. But it is my personal experience, over the past 3 years.

I have a communication from Jim Rust stating the new blades for our prop would be ready March, 2017. It never happened.

We were told the prop would be ready by September, 2018. Never happened.

Then we were told December, 2018, with my plane being the test bed aircraft. Never happened.

Next we were told March, 2019.

Then April, 2019.

Now the latest...not before June, 2019, if then.

Several phone calls have been made to Whirlwind. They act like they are clueless on this, as if the new prop is not happening. Jim Rust refuses to even talk to me. I have made two requests to speak with him about the progress on the new prop. He never returns my phone call. He refuses the kindness of simply answering an email.

This is a joint project, Whirlwind Propeller / Whirlwind Aviation.

I will go with MT, even though it is heavier. Some ballast will be added to our tail to compensate.

Everyone else here has had a good experience with Mr. Rust. I only wish that I could say the same.
 

TXFlyGuy

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Update: I am doing a public mea culpa, as more patience should have been exercised on my part. While this propeller design has taken years, anything worth having is worth waiting for.
We will fly with a loaner prop until the new 4 blade becomes available. No, MT is not an option for my plane at this time.
My apologies to WW Propeller, and Jim Rust.
 
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