Hartzell Propeller, the leading aircraft propeller manufacturer, has implemented an engineering leadership transition. Vice President of Engineering and Flight Safety Bruce Hanke is retiring in July, with his duties being assumed by 21-year veteran GE Aviation engineering leader Doug Washburn, who recently joined Hartzell Propeller.
“Bruce Hanke, with over four decades of engineering and leadership experience, leaves a legacy of many achievements during his 20 years at Hartzell,” said Hartzell Propeller President JJ Frigge. “Bruce’s accomplishments include development of composite-bladed propellers, light weight Bantam and Raptor series propeller systems, compact governors, in-house propeller deice and anti-ice system design and manufacturing, and improvements in the flight safety of Hartzell products,” Frigge added.
“We very much appreciate Bruce’s leadership and are looking forward to Doug Washburn’s contributions in the years to come,” Frigge said. “Doug has a wealth of experience in the design, testing, and certification of aviation components.”
Frigge added, “He spent his first years at GE in testing, with a focus on instrumentation and airfoil vibration, so his background integrates well with Hartzell’s future objectives.” Using an innovative blend of sophisticated engineering analytics, certification skills and world class manufacturing technologies, Hartzell is working closely with many OEMs within emerging industries to fine-tune propeller applications.
“We have dedicated tens of thousands of engineering hours to electric, hybrid and hydrogen powered aircraft since 2019. We continue to make advancements in tooling, manufacturing processes, and lightweighting materials,” said Frigge.
Washburn’s experience at GE Aviation includes numerous engineering management roles with skills in mechanical design, analysis and testing, organizational leadership, project management, fiber optic systems, and team building. He has a Master of Business Administration from Xavier University, both a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from The Ohio State University. He also holds a Six Sigma Black Belt certification.