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Fritzen Propellors

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  • Fritzen Propellors

    Hello Gang,

    Back in the mid eighties I met a gentleman named Bob Fritzen in Torrance, CA. Perhaps I have his name wrong, could be Art Fritzen ?

    In any event he repaired my boat propeller in his shop and gave me a tour of his office. The walls were plastered with 8x10 black and white and color photos of aviation history most featuring Fritzen and famous people, Wylie Post, Glen Curtis, Howard Hughes, Clark Gable, Amelia Earhart etc., right up to the present day ( ~ 1987 ) with awards from NASA and Hughes Aircraft. He later invited my wife and me to his home for dinner and a tour of his wifes exotic fruit garden and his state-of-the art CNC machine shop.

    I have tried "Googleing" his name with the only positive result being his winning an Oscar for designing and building the propellers used in movie wind machines.

    Anyone know anything about Fritzen.

    Love, JOHN

  • #2
    No, but if he's still around see if he can give us some of the important missing history.


    • #3
      More about Art Fritzen propellers

      Hi Dave,

      Found an article and photo in The Press newspaper of Carson, CA in 1963 and a citation from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts for Technical Achievement in 1995 for the eight bladed Ritter Fan Propellers. They created gale force wind with no noise ! I also found a reference in a Milwaukee newspaper with pictures. I am certain that Art has passed away by now. I would really like to find out who or what agency ended up with his photo collection, it was priceless.



      • #4
        I've seen that propeller! Someone sent a photo of it to me years ago asking if I knew what it was, as in "quiz", because he knew. As I recall it was just as you describe, a movie studio apparatus of some sort. I'd have to go through years of emails to find it, but when I get a chance I'll see if I can dig it up. It might even be on this forum somewhere, but I'm not sure how to search for it.


        • #5
          Fritzen Propellers

          I worked with a Bob Fritzen who is 82 and now retired living in the Camarillo Ca. area. It was Bob's father who was the propeller builder. His products were generally acknowledged to be the best available and all the prominent aviation legends and air racers of the 1930's sought him out. When this business started slowing down, he found a second act making wooden propellers for movie studio wind machines. Bob told me that his father's propellers were acknowledged to be the quietest available. I remember Bob telling me about all the pictures that were in his Dad's shop, photos of the senior Mr. Fritzen will all the aviation legends of the time.


          • #6
            I've got a beautiful Art Fritzen hand-crafted 8 bladed prop he won the Academy Award for Technical Achievement for in 1994 that's being released from a private collection. Check out this beauty!
            Attached Files


            • #7
              Nice. Thanks for posting.