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ckolonko
01-23-2016, 10:06 AM
Hi there,

I bought this propeller boss that has been turned into a plant pot today. It was advertised as a Sopwith Camel prop, produced by Ruston and Hornsby in Lincoln. Could anyone confirm this? I've worked out the Diameter, Prop pitch and Drawing number markings thanks to the wonderful Wooden Propeller website but would appreciate any further information about the other markings.

Thanks in advance,

Chris


https://scontent-lhr3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xlf1/v/t1.0-9/12565426_10153906015179645_2873554276851666801_n.j pg?oh=c0838d3038f0c5e37397f769a744f4b0&oe=56FB5291

https://scontent-lhr3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfa1/v/t1.0-9/12241234_10153906015209645_7322388121374758999_n.j pg?oh=75f050d315656ded8153568e6e3f2e13&oe=573575EF

Dave
01-23-2016, 01:20 PM
Drawing 710C is only listed for the Sopwith Pup and the Sopwith Strutter, but not the Camel. Also used on the AVRO 504A, J&K, DH5 and AW FK10.

There's really way of knowing which one of those it may have been used on, but the Camel is an unlikely choice. It's not an impossible choice, however, as the pitch listed on that model is 2120mm, not the 2360 mm stamped on yours, so it's possible it was some kind of low production or experimental variation fitted to a LeRhone or Clerget engine.

ckolonko
01-23-2016, 03:26 PM
Thanks for the information Dave :)

Bob Gardner
01-24-2016, 08:22 AM
Lovely item Chris,

I can't quite read the G number. Tell me what it is, please, so I can add it to my database. After September 1917 props were ordered in batches of 100. This batch is G7?? and is number 88. It dates from around the Spring of 1918.

Why do think it was made by Ruston? Is there a serial number on the other side such as RP269A. The style of the stamping of the data is more like that of Lang than of Ruston.

Ruston made BE2C, Sopwith Strutters, Camels and Snipes. They were the largest sub-contractor of Sopwith aircraft and made 2750 aircraft and 4000 aero engines, initially Clergets, latterly the BR2. The Strutter props had a pitch as Dave mentions of 2120mm, but I have three records of a pitch of 2360mm, all with no indication of the aircraft type. The Strutter was withdrawn from the front line in early 1918 and became a training aircraft. A prop with the same diameter and pitch as yours was fitted to the Avro 504 trainer (although not with the 110hp Clerget) so bearing in mind the date of manufacture in the Spring of 1918, we have grounds to assume your prop was made for the training version of the Strutter.

Polish it with beeswax once a month which will conserve the wood and in a year or so it will have a marvellous lustre.

With kind regards,

Bob

ckolonko
01-24-2016, 01:15 PM
Hi Bob,

The G number is as follows G.758.N.88

The tag that was on the hub when it was in the shop simply stated it was made by Ruston Hornsby and I wondered if this was true at all. There are no further serial numbers on the other side of the boss. The only other markings are a series of four stamps within square boxes on the underside which are illegible due to cracking of the finish.

Thank you for the further information and I will aim to buy some beeswax during the week.

Kind regards,
Chris

Bob Gardner
01-24-2016, 02:20 PM
'Afternoon Chris,

There is no reason for anyone to think it was made by Ruston & Proctor, and made for a Sop Camel, other than someone who probably lived near Lincoln and knew a little of the local History of Ruston & Proctor and therefore made a reasonable assumption. Did you buy it in Lincolnshire?

You have not been diddled. A Sopwith Strutter trainer prop, probably made by Lang, who designed the propeller, hence LP in the drawing number, is just as good and it is in lovely condition.

The four small squares are airworthiness stamps applied by inspectors at four stages of manufacture.

Buy pure beeswax in a tin from B & Q. Beeswax can also come in an aerosol but these have silicones which are powerful cleaning agents which can damage delicate finishes about 100 years old.

With kind regards,

Bob

ckolonko
01-29-2016, 10:29 AM
Hi Bob,

Thanks for the information :)

The label on the prop boss in the shop stated it was from a Sopwith Camel etc but I always take it with a pinch of salt, unless I know otherwise.

I think I like it more now that it came from a training aircraft. It makes you wonder whether the prop was pranged during a training flight, then turned into a flower pot by one of the maintenance crew.

The airworthiness stamps are very interesting.

I'll be buying some beeswax tomorrow.

Kind regards,

Chris

Dave
01-29-2016, 03:15 PM
It makes you wonder whether the prop was pranged during a training flight, then turned into a flower pot by one of the maintenance crew.



That's certainly a common situation. When you realize how many propellers were actually manufactured in the teens you have to ask what happened to them all. Most of them were not completely destroyed, but most of them were damaged beyond acceptable condition for use and frequently were cut up as souvenirs. Many of the undamaged ones in existence today are only around because the engine/aircraft became obsolete, and the propellers got sold as surplus.