View Full Version : Refurbished/Rebranded 69" Prop?

07-31-2015, 10:44 AM
I found a 69" wooden propeller for sale and the seller isn't certain of the manufacturer. A pilot buddy of his told him it looks like a Flottorp; However, it has a Sensenich sticker on it. I realize Sensenich sells stickers so someone could have slapped it on there, but what would be the point of that? In general if a wooden propeller doesn't have the Sensenich name branded/stamped on the hub or elsewhere, is it no a Sensenich? There are other identifying markings branded on the prop, but no manufacturer. I want to be sure of its authenticity and value before making an offer. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Here are the markings:

69L 42 (looks like an L at least)
TC B02
T C4

Here is a pic of the markings:


And the Sensenich Sticker, which is peeling off (not that that means anything):


08-11-2015, 04:26 PM
No one? Can someone at least point me in the right direction so I can research this myself? I just bought it for $345, so hopefully it's worth at least that much. I just read on the Sensenich website that serial numbers beginning with the letter "A" were manufactured between 1932 and 1942. Considering Sensenich was created in 1932, I may have a pretty valuable prop on my hand from back when they branded the props as opposed to stamping them. My hope anyway.


I did a little more research, and I believe this may be a Flottorp propeller. The A14449 is the serial number, 69L42 is the length (69") and pitch (42 degrees), TC802 is the type certificate, and I do not know what TC4 stands for. My guess is it was either refurbished by Sensenich or someone slapped a Sensenich sticker on it. Still have no clue on the value.

The propeller will be delivered today so I will look at it closer to see if there are any other markings that would indicated it's actual manufacturer. Perhaps there is an outline where the original Flottorp sticker was.

08-11-2015, 04:38 PM
I just purchased what appears to be a Sensenich propeller. The seller had no information on it, and I cannot find anything based on the markings. It has a Sensenich sticker on it, which is peeling off, so I can only assume it is a Sensenich. It looks like other Sensenich propellers I have seen online. However, the S/N, etc are branded on one of the blades as opposed to being stamped on the hub. Maybe this was the old way of marking the props and I have a vintage one? That's my hope anyway. Any help would be greatly appreciated. http://woodenpropeller.com/forumvB/showthread.php?t=3261

08-14-2015, 09:27 PM
I just received the propeller today. It is in really nice condition. It looks like it may have been restored, unless it was common to paint the tips and backside of the prop AFTER the metal reinforcement pieces were installed in the leading edge. Anyone know? Also, it looks like there was definitely a sticker on the other blade, and it appears to have been larger than a standard Sensenich sticker, so I'm guessing someone peeled off the original Flottorp sticker, which is larger than the Sensenich sticker/logo. The propeller is also 4-ply whereas I thought flottorp props were 28 ply. I don't know much about antique props though so I could be wrong.

08-16-2015, 06:26 PM
I missed this post and moved all of the ones relating to this propeller to a single thread. (That may be why I missed it . . . )

I'm not near my reference material, but that design number appears from several different manufacturers. I'll try to check into when I'm home tomorrow.

08-17-2015, 04:02 PM
The "TC802" refers to the Type Certificate under which it was manufactured. That Type Certificate appears in listings for both Flottorp and Univair. I believe that Univair acquired many original Type Certificates from other manufacturers and then manufactured them themselves.

The propeller was likely manufactured in the 1940's and appears to have been refinished.

The Sensenich sticker is a more recent version. Early Sensenich propellers had the "Lititz" style decals.

08-18-2015, 05:59 PM
Thanks for the reply. I'm assuming the Sensenich decal was possibly put on there by whomever refinished it. It was also put on upside down, based on other propellers I have looked at. I removed the decal and ordered a pair of Flottorp decals to put on it. This is before I realized there are a few different variants of Flottorp decal. One has wings and closely resembles the Senenich and the other two I've seen have a propeller in the center, one variant with the text Flottorp America's Oldest Aircraft Propellers, Grand Rapids, MI (this is the one I ordered but have not yet applied) and the other says Manufactured by Univair, Denver, CO. on the bottom. Considering the prop was likely manufactured circa 1940, which decal would be the correct one (see below)? Also, what jumps out at you that shows it may have been refinished? And do you know what the TC 4 marking signifies?




Univair's website says they purchased Flottorp in the 1950's, so I suppose that narrows it down to two decals--the one with the wings or the Grand Rapids, MI one with the propeller.

08-18-2015, 11:05 PM
I don't know what the "TC4" means. The "TC802" clearly correlates with the published Type Certificate.

You should be able to see "ghosts" of the previous decals to determine which Flottorp decal was there originally. It's VERY rare to have no factory decals from a propeller that completed the manufacturing process. Some were rejected before that process, but in that case they usually did not get the stampings, either.

I can't be sure about refinishing some clues in general include absence of decals, polished metal surfaces, "runs" in varnish, and varnish fill within small cracks and defects. I also think that the dark fill in the stampings may well be the result of entrapment of material during a refinishing process (although that my not always be the case).

08-19-2015, 11:49 AM
Unfortunately, I am unable to make out any ghosting. On one blade, the decal was clearly scraped off haphazardly. I can see where the varnish is missing but cannot make out any shape whatsoever. On the other blade, there is a faded area in the shape of the Sensenich decal (the one I already removed), which has evidently been there for some time. The varnish underneath has not been disturbed. Based solely on the time period (1940-ish), what would be your best guess as to which decal was used? The wings or the propeller with Grand Rapids 8, MI text?

08-19-2015, 11:57 AM
I'd just be guessing, and even the 1940's production is a guess as well. One of our members here (Steve Maghielse (http://woodenpropeller.com/forumvB/member.php?u=2931)) is a Flottorp descendant, so you might try sending him a PM to see if he has any additional info.

08-27-2015, 05:03 PM
It's been a couple weeks and I have not received a response from Steve. Is there anyone else you know of that would know which decals are the correct ones?

08-27-2015, 09:54 PM
No, and I don't even know if Steve would know for sure.

Personally, I'd go with the first one. I think that's more likely to have been on a prop that wasn't painted silver, as I think many of the Flottorps were.

08-31-2015, 05:26 PM
Sounds good to me. Now I just need to find someone that sells them.

08-31-2015, 09:26 PM
If you don't find an original set (which might be hard) try Nostalgic Reflections (http://www.nostalgicreflections.com/). They can make them from "scratch".