View Full Version : prop found in loft

01-22-2015, 11:35 AM
Hi.simple question, I know absolutely nothing about them but Iv'e found a 10 foot 4 inch metal ended wooden prop in my late farther in law's loft. The only numbers on it are vague, 204 with the letter D

Bob Gardner
01-23-2015, 08:29 AM
Greetings Malc,

Welcome to our forum.

Your prop is interesting. It is not a flown example because the final part of producing a prop is to drill the eight (probably eight) bolt holes. This was not been done either because the prop was failed at this stage by the airworthiness inspector, or because the prop was required as a decorative item, for display. For this reason there is none of the usual data stamped on the hub, so we are unlikely to be able to identify to which aircraft it was intended.

The look of the prop is British, although this is a tentative thought, and the construction suggests it was made later than 1917 and before 1940. Probably it was made in 1917 or 1918. Was your father-in-law British and did he live in Britain?

The brass sheathing covers more of the prop than usual. I can't see how it is held to the wood. The British, French and Germans used different methods. Can you send a close up of the surface? The brass is there to protect the prop tips from either the dust, dirt and twigs etc thrown up by the aircraft undercarriage ahead of the prop, which implies it was a pusher aircraft, or from a seaplane where it protected the tips from spray and water.

There are five British aircraft from 1917 to 1919 which have two-bladed props with a diameter of 10' 4" or 3150mm, plus or minus an inch or so. Four are naval, one is RAF.

Diameter 3170mm: the aft nacelle of the Royal Navy Coastal Airship, fitted to a Renault 200hp engine with left hand rotation in a pusher configuration.

3150mm: the Short 827 seaplane, the prop fitted to a 160hp Sunbeam engine in LH tractor configuration.

3150mm: the Curtiss R2 aircraft fitted with a 200hp Sunbeam Afridi engine. As this was a tractor land-based aircraft, with an undercarriage, such sheathing would not have been necessary.

3150mm: 150hp Sunbeam Crusader engine fitted to the Short 827.

10' 3" : 400hp Liberty on a de Havilland DH9A. As this too was a tractor land-based aircraft, such sheathing would not have been necessary.

As land-based aircraft and a naval airship were unlikely to have extensive brass sheathing, your prop might have been made for the Short 827. But this is a tentative identification.

With kind regards,


Bob Gardner
02-01-2015, 11:55 AM

I hope the research I did on your behalf was interesting and useful. I took me about an hour to find the information and write my reply to you.

With kind regards,


02-01-2015, 01:17 PM
Hello Bob
Thank you for your hard work researching my mystery propeller. My father in law ran a pub in Blaby, Leicestershire for 43 years and I remember seeing it hanging in the skittle alley, I'm sure he'd have picked it up cheaply as he had all sorts of interesting memorabilia, mainly weaponry.
Yes, the Short 827 does look a likely candidate and I did wonder with the lack of bolt holes if it had ever seen any action.
Sadly it, along with so many other things has gone off to auction as my wife and sisters had to clear their late fathers house.
Once again thank you for your time and effort.