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stephenk
06-07-2011, 05:52 AM
Hi everyone

I am in Western Australia and I acquired a large wooden four bladed prop (minus the hub) some time ago and have always wondered what it is from. It is a dark reddish timber which is laminated with copper/brass along the leading edges and each blade is approximately five foot long with two mounting holes. Because of the previous owner of the house from which this prop came I beleive it to have strong historical value he was a WW2 pilot (since passed away), though I have a feeling this prop well and trully predates WW2. Without the hub there are only some numbers which appear to have been branded into the timber. I would really appreciate any help at all in identification, and would consider selling or even donating it to a museum (we have a fine Aviation Museum here in WA) but without the hub I'm not sure of its worth or even being able to identify. Any interest and/or help would be greatly appreciated.

Steve

MWP_Lamar
06-07-2011, 03:39 PM
It's almost impossible to ID a prop from its appearance. Having said that, can you post a good picture? Including the area of the missing hub? Do the blades have pitch or are they parallel to the overall plane of the prop?

Lamar

stephenk
06-07-2011, 09:31 PM
HI Lamar
Thanks so much for your reply, I will get it out of storage over the weekend and post some pics. I'm not exactly sure what you mean by the overall plane, certainly each blade is shaped to form an angle , and they are considerably wider at the tip. Ive had these wrapped up in sheets for years, though sadly (after reading the post re not refurbishing) they have been highly polished or varnished which really brings out the beauty of the reddish timber grain.

I thank you again for your interest and will re-post the pics on Monday.
Steve

MWP_Lamar
06-08-2011, 11:13 AM
Let's see if I can be more clear. If you were to lay the prop down on the Earth (the ground) would the pitch of each individual blade be parallel to the plane of the Earth?

Lamar

stephenk
06-08-2011, 09:58 PM
Each blade will not lie flat on the ground because the pitch is so great and because the blade widens considerably along its length. I will post some pictures and dimensions on the weekend along with the numbers that are etched into it. I can also mention it is amazingly (to a novice like me) heavy. The prop is in storage and I cannot get to it before then. Once again I do sincerely thank you for your interest and help in identifying this. My wife and I are quite excited.

stephenk
06-12-2011, 10:19 PM
Hi Lamar

I have attached some pics you asked for, hopefully I have done it properly. I also measured the blades and they are 56 inches long if that helps.

Thanks again
Steve

MWP_Lamar
06-13-2011, 01:08 PM
When you wrote "minus the hub" I didn't take that to mean the blades were cut away from the hub. Unfortunately that doesn't help me a bit. Frequently the design information is stamped into the hub.

Lamar

stephenk
06-13-2011, 09:40 PM
I see, does that mean this is not much better than firewood, or something to adorn someone's wall? Is there any way of knowing any of the aircraft that used this size and style propeller. A guide at the aviation museum said four blade props in that size were quite rare. Any help at all would be appreciated.
Steve

MWP_Lamar
06-14-2011, 11:27 AM
In my opinion adorning one's walls isn't a bad thing; mine adorn my walls.

While four blade props are indeed rare there are several different ones and without specific markings there's just no way to make a conclusive ID. That's been my experience anyway. Perhaps others have more to offer. Anyone?

Lamar

Dave
06-15-2011, 08:41 PM
The length of an individual blade (56") is not unusual. The pitch changes from coarse to flat as you move outwards on the blade (which is why it is not stated as a simple angular measurement), and has nothing to do with the width of the blade.

I doubt that you will be able to identify its actual usage. I will say that the metal sheathing looks a little more typical of post WW1 design, or perhaps seaplane use.

stephenk
06-15-2011, 09:25 PM
Thanks so much for your thoughts Dave. Being four blades, and the size would you think this was from a large size aircraft, and would you think military or a domestic transport plane? I guess there isnt much point in donating it to a museum without knowing what its from, and I would further assume it to have little dollar value does anyone have an inkling of what it might be worth?

Steve

Dave
06-17-2011, 12:40 AM
I think it has zero value to a museum and very little if any value to a collector, but sometimes people buy things thinking they are worth a lot because they resemble something that is.

That's one of the reasons that "value" is nearly impossible to determine, unless you actually sell it.

stephenk
06-17-2011, 01:03 AM
OK well thanks again for your thoughts, sorry to have wasted your time. I wouldnt dream of selling something that only resembles something that has a value; I have a little more integrity than that. Its difficult to sell anything without knowing what something might be worth which was why I asked for your opinion for a dollar value. Plainly though this dismembered prop is old as you say it has little or no value so I will dispose of it accordingly. Thanks again to everyone for thier thoughts, I wish you all well.
Steve

Dave
06-17-2011, 08:06 AM
I wouldn't throw them away. I'd put them on eBay with a low opening bid and no reserve and see what you get for them. Someone probably wants them, and could assemble them in a creative and decorative way.

If they all are identical, then it looks to me that the hub could be reassembled and epoxied or glued together and still function adequately as a display prop. (BTW, if that's the case then you should be able to ascertain the drawing number, which might further identify it.)

stephenk
06-17-2011, 09:57 PM
Two very good ideas which I must confess I didnt think of. I only pulled one of the blades out of storage for the photos because they are all the same so I didnt check for numbers on any other blades. On the one I took pics of the only number was '11'. I will look at the others for any other marks or numbers. The Ebay idea is a great one, allthough I didnt start out wanting to sell it per se but I'm not using it as it wouldnt suit the decor of my home, so, unless there is anyone in this forum interested I might well do that and again I thank you for help. If I find any nubers I will write back.