Aerospace companies with a colorful history are a dime a dozen. Aerospace companies with a tie to Orville Wright are something special. Hartzell Propeller is the latter. The company 's roots reach back to 1875, when John T. Hartzell founded a sawmill in Greenville, Ohio. The wood business took an upswing in 1917 when, amidst a growing airplane manufacturing industry, Hartzell's son, Robert, founded a wooden propeller blade business at his father's sawmill company at the suggestion of Orville Wright, a neighbor. Today, Hartzell seems worlds away from the early days of flight. Now headquartered in Piqua with 275 employees, Hartzell is a market leader in supplying both metal and lightweight composite blades for private and corporate aircraft.