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Rhino
04-26-2016, 05:50 PM
Hello all,

I have a possible JN-4D Curtiss Jenny Propeller in my possession. I worked with the Curtiss Museum back in February to get a mock image of the grill, which we then applied to a cut-to-shape piece of aluminum. We then mounted that to the prop using the original hub and some bolts. It came out looking beautiful, as you can see in the pictures below.

Sadly though, I may be interested in selling this propeller. For some background on myself, I am a USAF Active Duty Captain currently in Pilot training. Prior to this I was an F-15E WSO, flying over 1,000 hrs (around half of them combat) with the 336th World Famous Rocketeers. I am now in the "front seat transition" as we WSO's call it, and looking to be possibly an F-35/22/15E pilot post training.

I am getting engaged soon, and would like to use the proceeds of this propeller towards my engagement ring for the love of my life (she's also an AD AF Capt). Please back up my claims if you know anything more about the propeller and markings, and if you are interested in the prop let me know! I would love to chat about this piece of flying training history. It currently resides with me at my house in Oklahoma.

Here's an excerpt from the email that the Curtiss Museum sent me:

Greetings,
Back in February of 2015, I helped your father with his project in creating the radiator backdrop for the propeller. As I had told him, we were unable to positively identify it other than it was used with a Curtiss OX-5 engine. As these were used on a variety of different aircraft at the time we could not specifically say what aircraft it was for but most likely came from a Curtiss JN-4D training plane.

Sincerely,
Rick Leisenring
Curator
Glenn H. Curtiss Museum
http://i580.photobucket.com/albums/ss250/MasterTJ52/Propeller%20pre-move%20item%20182%202.jpg
http://i580.photobucket.com/albums/ss250/MasterTJ52/Propeller%20pre-move%20item%20182%201.jpg
http://i580.photobucket.com/albums/ss250/MasterTJ52/Propeller%20pre-move%20item%20182%203.jpg
http://i580.photobucket.com/albums/ss250/MasterTJ52/IMG_5640.jpg
http://i580.photobucket.com/albums/ss250/MasterTJ52/IMG_5641.jpg

Dbahnson
04-26-2016, 07:51 PM
I agree that the Jenny is a likely choice, but there's no way to be sure. I would suggest that you just confirm that the distance between bolt holes across the center bore (bolt hole circle diameter) is exactly 5 1/4 inches and that the center bore is 2 5/8" to 2 11/16". Sometimes the Hall Scott hub is mistaken for an OX5 hub.

The center bore just looks a little larger, but looks can be deceiving . . .

Bob Gardner
04-27-2016, 07:54 AM
A minor observation; the number in the box CAB 41, indicates that it was made in Canada; it is an airworthiness stamp of a government inspector.

A British propeller maker, Dashwood Lang, whose company was in effect the in-house prop maker for Sopwith aircraft, was loaned in 1917, when America entered WW1, to the USN by the British Admiralty to introduce the mass production of propellers. He contracted makers from Canada, whilst developing the manufacture of props for the USN, which resulted in a large purpose-built prop factory at Whitestone, Long Island.

The construction and design of the metal sheathing on the tips was patented by Lang and very probably indicates that it was fitted to a seaplane. Canada also made a large number of JN-4 (Can) aircraft for the USN.

With kind regards,

Bob

Rhino
04-27-2016, 08:40 PM
I agree that the Jenny is a likely choice, but there's no way to be sure. I would suggest that you just confirm that the distance between bolt holes across the center bore (bolt hole circle diameter) is exactly 5 1/4 inches and that the center bore is 2 5/8" to 2 11/16". Sometimes the Hall Scott hub is mistaken for an OX5 hub.

The center bore just looks a little larger, but looks can be deceiving . . .
The center bore is just over 2 5/8". The distance from the center of one bolt hole to the center of another directly across the center of the hub is 5 1/4".

A minor observation; the number in the box CAB 41, indicates that it was made in Canada; it is an airworthiness stamp of a government inspector.

A British propeller maker, Dashwood Lang, whose company was in effect the in-house prop maker for Sopwith aircraft, was loaned in 1917, when America entered WW1, to the USN by the British Admiralty to introduce the mass production of propellers. He contracted makers from Canada, whilst developing the manufacture of props for the USN, which resulted in a large purpose-built prop factory at Whitestone, Long Island.

The construction and design of the metal sheathing on the tips was patented by Lang and very probably indicates that it was fitted to a seaplane. Canada also made a large number of JN-4 (Can) aircraft for the USN.

With kind regards,

Bob
Interesting! So you're saying it could be a Canadian JN-4?

Bob Gardner
04-28-2016, 05:26 PM
No, not quite. I think the prop was made in Canada for the USN, the clues being the Canadian Airworthiness stamp and the metal sheathing of Dashwood Lang's design. As he was loaned to the USN from the Royal Navy at their request to get propeller production moving, and sub contracted to Canada, this seems to be a possibility.

But note that perhaps most of our opinions on early props can only be classified as possible. We were not around in 1914-1918 and one hundred years later there are very few clues left.

Congratulations on the upgrade from WSO to pilot. I would guess that an F-15 driver who was once a WSO might well be better than an ordinary pilot. Although an Army Officer, I spent many years working with the RAF where pilots held the thought that two navigators would always produce at least three answers to any question; and that an extra 200lbs of fuel was preferable to the back seater!

With kind regards,

Bob

Rhino
04-28-2016, 06:28 PM
No, not quite. I think the prop was made in Canada for the USN, the clues being the Canadian Airworthiness stamp and the metal sheathing of Dashwood Lang's design. As he was loaned to the USN from the Royal Navy at their request to get propeller production moving, and sub contracted to Canada, this seems to be a possibility.

But note that perhaps most of our opinions on early props can only be classified as possible. We were not around in 1914-1918 and one hundred years later there are very few clues left.

Congratulations on the upgrade from WSO to pilot. I would guess that an F-15 driver who was once a WSO might well be better than an ordinary pilot. Although an Army Officer, I spent many years working with the RAF where pilots held the thought that two navigators would always produce at least three answers to any question; and that an extra 200lbs of fuel was preferable to the back seater!

With kind regards,

Bob

Bob,

Thanks for the info! What do you suppose I do if trying to sell it? List it with the info known? Is there a good place to list a wood prop like this one? Ebay?

Additionally, I need a statement of valuation for some insurance paperwork, any thoughts on that?

Finally, good jokes about Navs, sounds like some classic "WSO-haters" as we call them. A good backseater is worth more than a shitty pilot I think, so I tried to be the best backseater and I will now try to be a great pilot. I look forward to it!

Bob Gardner
04-29-2016, 02:02 PM
Quote: Thanks for the info! What do you suppose I do if trying to sell it? List it with the info known? Is there a good place to list a wood prop like this one? Ebay?

When you sell it use our answers above. Use terms such as likely to be rather than anything more definite. You might wish to include a link to this thread.

Take several hi-res in focus shots and have them to hand when your advert comes out.

EBay doesn't seem to be a good place to sell propellers, mostly, I think, because sellers often have high starting prices. Better to start the bidding at a few dollars and protect yourself with a reserve price of say 1000 USD but Dave and others in the States might be able to advise on value and auction houses that specialise in aeronautical memorabilia.

I remember discussing with an RAF F-4 pilot his dislike of navigators and eventually said words to the effect that navigators must be good for something. The answer was that as a last resort he could eject the nav into the path of the Mig 29 on his six.

Good Luck with your sale!

Bob