View Full Version : Help With ID of Propeller

Aviator Sister
01-12-2014, 02:20 PM
I have a propeller that belonged to my Naval Aviator brother. It was given to him as a young child by my Uncle who flew with the Air Force in WWII. My Uncle was killed in 1949 in a plane crash so I know that it is older than that. The markings on the propellor are: DES7681 SER 7188 HP 50 RPM 1800. It has the Sensenich Brothers logo (Lititz, PA) with Senseni Ch burned in the wood. It is wooden with a thin band of metal on one edge of the blade ends. The propeller is 76 1/4" from end to end and has 6 bolt holes in the center.

Attached is a picture.
Can anyone help with the ID of this?

Thank you!

01-12-2014, 11:34 PM
I'm unable to find a Sensenich design number DES7681. Would you please look again to see if there aren't additional characters (letters and or numbers) following the DES? Is it possible the design number begins with 76B? Thank you.


01-13-2014, 11:01 AM
As Lamar says, maybe the numbers are being mis read or the propeller was even mis-stamped during production, in which case it may never have been used.

The 76 prefix would have been used for a propeller of that size (76") and it was designed for a number of 50 HP engines on some very common trainers. The Lititz decals and the serial number indicate it was made some time between 1932 and 1942.

Aviator Sister
01-13-2014, 04:13 PM
Thank you Lamar and Dave. We went back and looked and the best we can tell is as follows:

The shellac (?) finish has crazed and cracked some which makes the letters/numbers more difficult to read. Would it affect to value to clean this finish off and restore it to the original smooth wood? We might be able to read the numbers and letters more easily then.

Bless you for your help and time with this ID.

01-13-2014, 04:35 PM
Aviator Sister before you do more please read this: http://woodenpropeller.com/forumvB/showthread.php?t=674

I show a design number of 76B51 that would appear to correspond with possible usage of your prop but no 76B1. The second set of numbers usually indicates the pitch measured in inches but a pitch of 1 is pretty meaningless. There are a few exceptions but very few. As Dave said the serial number indicates it was made between 1932 and 1942.


01-13-2014, 05:42 PM
It's a near certainty that it was made for one of the small 50 HP engine powered planes listed there.

Removing any of the current varnish will reduce its value dramatically. Decals will likely be destroyed in the process. If you want a propeller like that it's better to sell yours and buy one of the "restored" versions for about a third of what you could sell yours for.

Aviator Sister
01-14-2014, 04:23 PM
Lamar and Dave, thanks for your continuing help. I will definitely NOT touch the finish. In reading the thread about the finish removal issue I did note the suggestioin to try a rubbing of the stenciled numbers. Will try that and let you know if I get any clearer info. For now, is there a link to look at to ascertain the possible types of 50 HP planes in use from 1932-1942? Also, how do I find out the value of what I have?
Blessings and smiles from this end for your interest in helping folks like me who know so little about this subject but want learn more.

01-14-2014, 05:09 PM
Rather than trying the rubbing of stampings, why don't you just get a good close-up photo of them and post it here?