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John Scott
07-02-2006, 11:09 AM
Hello group,

Can someone educate me on the geneology of the Falcon brand of propeller (last certified props produced in Zellwood, FL). Who now owns the Type Certificate and under what name was it formerly produced? Fahlen? I have searched the FAA's TC listing and can't find Falcon.

Thanks!

John Scott

dbahnvt
07-04-2006, 04:32 PM
It was purchased by Mike Redpath and I'm nearly certain that you are correct about the Fahlin drawings. If you email me I can give you his contact information.

There was also a Falcon Propeller manufacturer in the early teens and twenties located in Jamestown, NY.

ryan
10-29-2006, 07:12 PM
Mike, I noticed your inquiry about Fahlin propellers and felt I had a bit of information that I might share and this is a perfect forum. In 1984 I went to Sunnyvale Calif. and worked with Ole and he taught me to carve propellers. Ole was Swedish. He was from a large family and his father had a business manufacturing farm equipment. Prior to the first world war farm equipment was still pretty primative. A large portion of the product was exported to Germany. The first world war stopped that portion of the business. Ole said his father insisted that all the boys have hands on experience in all phases of the manufacturing. Ole said his favorite work was in the wood working shop. He said " Old so and so was my buddy". I can not remember the name. At the end of the first world war the father went to Berlin to re-establish the export part of the business. Ole said all the hangars on all the airports around Berlin were full of new airplanes. The allied powers would not let any German fly the airplanes. The Germans were anxious to bring in any foreign currency and some generals son was given access to the airplanes to estabish a flying school. Ole said he flew everything in the hangars, single engine twin engine and float planes. After his father returned to Sweden Ole remained in Germany and flew. It sounded like he might have actually had a flying job in germany. When he returned from Germany he went into the Swedish airforce as the sixth pilot. He had no additional training. When he returned the Swedish airforce was building its first fighter. The airplane was an all wood copy of a Neiport 11. I think it was called a Sparrow. A reproduction of it was built in California about 1980. Evidently Ole was involved in the building of the airplane. When he completed his military service he came to Minneapolis to visit a cousin. I believe that was 1923 but I may be wrong about the year. He said one Sunday he saw a barnstormer and saw how much money he was making. He bought a surplus Curtiss Jenny and he said he paid for it in just a few weeks. He felt that he could improve the performance with a new propeller and the next winter he carved a propeller and it was a noticeable improvement. The word got out and the barnstormers started approaching him for propellers. He was living in Souix Falls South Dakota and carving the propellers and the word spread farther. Between the two world wars the largest supplier of airplane parts in the U.S. was Nichlos Beasly at Marshall Missouri. Marshall is half way between Kansas City and St. Louis. Nichlos Beasly approached Ole to market his propellers. Ole moved his operation to Marshall Missouri and set up his carving business. At some point there was a falling out and Ole severed the agreement and moved to Columbia Missouri. The basic Fahlin decal on the props did not change over the years except for the city of manufacture. During those years Ole developed the certification for most of the light airplane and engine combinations. When WW11 came along the business changed and Ole's business switched to military propellers. He had a full blown operation during the war. At the end of the war he could see the hand writing on the wall and retired. When Viet Nam started heating up a contract was let to Lockheed for a super quiet spy plane. Ole was hired as a consultant on the propeller design. A large Sweitzer glider was the starting point. An engine was mounted in the fuselage and a propeller was mounted on a vertical mast above the fuselage. A five bladed propeller was decided upon. I believe it rotated at 600 R.P.M. This was happening in the 60's at lockheed in Sunnyvale Calif. The antique airplane activity was just starting to take hold. One of the Lockheed employee's who was an antique airplane buff convinced Ole that since he still owned the certification he should start building propellers again. At sometime, I believe in the late 80's Ole decided it was time to give up the business and it was sold to a pilot in Miami.
The reason I wanted to spend time with Ole was that I knew he carved the propellers out on a bench with simple tools. There was no duplicating machine. This technique allowed great flexability and little capital expenditure. It is surprising how fast a propeller can be carved out on a bench after a little experience. Ole was truely one of a kind.

MWP_Lamar
10-29-2006, 08:19 PM
Thank you Ryan for the really interesting narrative. How wonderful to have learned from the hand of a master.

There's additional information on Fahlin props at http://www.wingsofhistory.org/content/view/20/34/, too.

Lamar

bridco
01-18-2007, 10:30 PM
My grandmother was Ole Fahlin's sister and she lived in Jamestown, New York from 1921 after moving from Sweden until passing away in the mid seventies. I know that Ole spent alot of time in Jamestown and at one time went into business with my Grandpa (his brother in-law). Whether this business was 'Falcon Propellers' I do not know. I will ask around the family a bit and if I find anything else interesting....will post it here. Good luck with your project.........Craig

Dave
01-19-2007, 12:31 AM
Well, that's interesting. I've seen quite a few early WW1 era propellers that were manufactured by Falcon Propellers, in Jamestown, N.Y., such as this one (http://www.woodenpropeller.com/Curtiss_HS2L.html), and I remember when Mike Redpath began making props using the Fahlin type certificates, but I always assumed that they were not related in any way. I've tried to find information about the early Falcon Propeller Company in Jamestown, but haven't found anything significant.

Here's the old Falcon logo:

http://www.woodenpropeller.com/HS2Ldec_528x230.jpg