View Full Version : fe8 prop ? help please

02-22-2015, 07:05 AM
I acquired a propeller tip as part of a trade the person I acquired it from is convinced that it came from a RAC fe8 a pusher biplane which had a 4 bladed prop .I am not familiar or knowledgeable in this field so took the collector for his word and it is only now I wish I asked more questions at the time .The blade also came with a section of clearly very early canvas which was either on the prop or from the plane .Online it is stated that a fe8 prop measures 240cms that is 7 feet 9 inchs my blade measures 90cms or 3 feet it also states that the blade has dowels that fix together the laminated sections and also the leading edge clearly has a different shaped metal covering on asking the collector about the different shaped metal edge I was told that there would have been different shaped leading edge covers over time .When I look at online photographs of fe8 props and orientate my blade tip to those seen it seems to me that my blade section is far too big i.e it came from a much larger prop than that of a fe8 if my prop is genuinely off an fe8 then according to my math and presuming all fe8 props measure 7 feet nine inchs then it would be a further 10 inchs to the very central hub / boss of the propeller ...this does not seem possible .
This is a link with details to a fe8 prop
As you can see my prop is clearly old quite as to why the previous owner is convinced that it is from a fe8 I don't know maybe he was told it came of a 4bladed pusher and that it came off a RAF plane .
I would be grateful for any advice and extremely grateful if this thread could be passed around the forum until I get to the bottom of this mystery I would also like to add that there are no markings on the prop.
One final thing I would like to add is I don't know if the measurement of 7 feet nine inchs of the fe8 prop is the measurement from one tip to the opposing tip or from the ground to the props highest point

02-22-2015, 08:38 AM
Welcome to the forum, Trevor.

First, I would feel safe in saying that it's nearly impossible to positively identify a propeller by it's appearance alone, and with a single blade it's even less likely. Keep in mind that there were literally thousands of different designs and proportions, and in some ways propellers were like tires - lots of sizes and dimensions, frequently replaced, and fitted to a specific metal component. Finding a piece of propeller without the numbering (and especially without the hub) is a little like finding a piece of a tire and trying to determine what it was used for. It's not surprising that claims of origin are passed along with the piece, and it doesn't necessarily indicate dishonesty on the part of the person selling it, but without some valid basis for the claim authenticity can't be established.

This blade is a left hand rotation, which increases the likelihood of a pusher application, but even that isn't certain, as some engines were geared or simply rotated in the opposite direction.

As for length, it's always measured from tip to tip, representing the diameter of the circle it occupies.

Bob Gardner
02-24-2015, 07:00 AM

I saw your blade on eBay and wondered how it could be judged to be from an FE8. As Dave says, in essence it can't.

But it has the slender look of a prop designed by the Royal Aircraft Factory (RAF) and the brass sheathing and LH rotation suggest it might be from a pusher, as Dave says.

The RAF produced two pushers for the RFC; the FE2 and the FE8, of which about 2200 and 290 respectively were built, a ratio of about 7:1, which makes it much more likely to be part of a FE2 prop than from a FE8. But this is only guesswork! It is not possible to identify it.

With kind regards,


02-25-2015, 07:35 AM
Firstly thanks for the replies regarding the prop ,along with the blade I have a piece of canvas which came off the blade .
The underside of the canvas has lines which correspond exactly to the lamination lines on the blade my question regarding this canvas is does the white paint which appears to be part of a capital " N " shed any light on the prop /plane or squadron

Bob Gardner
02-26-2015, 04:54 AM
Hi Trevor.

I have not seen such a thing before as your letter N, if that is what it is. I think this piece of fabric must have been taken from the fuselage of some other aircraft, because only half the letter is showing. Also the way the fabric is cut is not as specified in the 1917 Handbook on Propeller Construction issued by the Department of Aircraft Production at the Ministry of Munitions. My guess is that it was added some time after the prop was made.

With kind regards,


02-26-2015, 07:41 AM
Your reply makes sense that it was scavenged from elsewhere the condition of the back of the canvas and the corresponding lines with that of the prop indicate that this was done a long time ago .
With the canvas located exactly on the blade the letter " N " would continue around to the other side of the blade .I am quickly learning the subject of old propellers involves a lot of detective work and research .
Thanks again

Bob Gardner
02-26-2015, 08:37 AM
I am quickly learning the subject of old propellers involves a lot of detective work and research .
Thanks again

'Afternoon Trevor,

You are absolutely correct, and often your research gets you nowhere!


02-26-2015, 12:14 PM
Also, I never seen a prop with anything painted on the fabric (other than decals or possibly stripes) that wasn't painted after the prop was taken out of service, usually as some kind of commemorative object.