View Full Version : Help needed to identify Rolls Royce Propeller

01-26-2018, 04:23 PM
Hi everyone!
I am new to this forum but have fallen in love with wooden propellers. Could anyone tell me what propeller this is, perhaps age and which airplane it sat on. Info below

Greetings from Stockholm Sweden and thanks in advance!


Marking on the propeller:
S 2880 D 3300 N 510 C.F.V. 28 2


01-27-2018, 10:16 AM
It looks fairly modern in design and construction, so I think that it's likely from some time after WW1. The "S" and "D" numbers will almost certainly refer to pitch and diameter in mm. I'm guessing the "N510" is a simple production number. I don't know what the "C.F.V" means, but it's possible that the "28 2 31" refers to a production date of February 28, 1931.

Note that it's a left hand rotation, which often means a pusher configuration, a geared engine, or sometimes a counter-rotating engine on a twin engine aircraft.

Some of the auction details are lost to me in translation, but I'd see if you can find an aircraft using a Rolls Royce engine that could somehow fit with "C.F.V."

Bob Gardner
01-27-2018, 01:10 PM
Good Afternoon Staffan,

Welcome to the forum. I have been researching your propeller for about five hours and do not have a complete answer yet!

The hub and bolt-holes show no witness marks left by a hub plate so it is very likely that it has never flown. The propeller has a diameter of 3300mm and a pitch of 2880m.

N 520 probably indicates the serial number of the propeller. It might indicate the horse power of the engine, 520hp.

CFV refers to the Chief of the Swedish Air Force, Cheffan for Flygvapnet and 28.2.31 is probably a date. This could be the date of manufacture or the date of the contract to make a batch of these propellers, or the date when the propeller was certified as air worthy. But the letters CFV show that the prop came from a military aircraft.

The Rolls Royce Kestrel engine was fitted with a propeller of 3360mm and a pitch of 2280mm, which is close to the dimensions of your prop, and it developed 520hp. Photographs show that some of these, perhaps all, had brass sheathing at the tips of the blades and along the leading edges. The Hawker Hart was fitted with the Kestrel engine and a small number of these were sold to Sweden in the 1930's so this is a possible contender for your prop.

You might wish to further explore this. Let us know anything you discover.

With kind regards,


01-27-2018, 01:40 PM
Great answers and thanks for getting involved. It looks like it has belonged to a Hawker Hart and I discovered a group of them had been stationed in north of Sweden, ÷stersund. See link below. How much is such a propeller worth - I am thinking of buying it.

See below text, surprisingly in French...:-)

https://www.google.se/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjx64v31_jYAhVGiiwKHcy6ARoQjRwIBw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwp.scn.ru%2Fen%2Fww15%2Fb%2F357%2 F90%2F0&psig=AOvVaw1jPtx2UXjFUUNLSiHjvcUX&ust=1517160987178232

01-27-2018, 01:45 PM
You still need to be able to explain the left hand thread in the propeller up for auction. The photos I've seen of the Kestrel engine show a right hand thread. Compare those to the photo of the auction item attached.

Bob Gardner
01-28-2018, 06:15 AM

Like Dave, I am not completely certain we have an answer yet.

But we can be sure that it carries the date 28 February 1931 and that the contract for this batch of propellers was placed by the Staff of the Swedish Air Force, so it is a prop for a military aircraft. And we know the diameter and pitch.

I suggest that you explore google in Swedish using these facts.

Propellers from the 1930s do not excite as much interest as props from WW1 so I think it should sell for around £1500 GBP. But if two aviation enthusiasts bid against each other it could sell for double or triple this amount.

Please keep us informed of anything you discover, and the auction price if it sells.

With kind regards,


01-28-2018, 10:46 AM
Thanks Bob,
Would the fact that the wood is some what cracked - the glue in the lamination has let go in some places - affect the price. And the fact that it is most likely unused - does that make it more or less valuable? Thanks in advance!

Bob Gardner
01-28-2018, 03:03 PM

I'm not sure that there are any well-known guidelines. Each person has a different view. Each propeller has a different condition and history. And it depends on who turns up to bid on the day. So my opinion is almost irrelevant.

The propeller appears to be in what I would describe as excellent unused condition.

I think I would prefer to buy a flown propeller but this question and my answer is irrelevant. I have never had the choice of buying a flown prop or an unused one of the same type at an auction.

So, it is very simple. Go to the auction. Arrive early and inspect the propeller. Seek out the auctioneer and ask him if he knows where it has come from and if there is any known history with the prop. Bear in mind that the chances of ever seeing or buying another is almost nil. If you are still in love with it, buy it.

Having bought it, polish it carefully with bees wax polish. Contact the Swedish Air Force Museum and ask if they can tell you anything about it. Within ten years your prop is likely to have increased in value. And it will look splendid on the wall in your house. The only difficulty in this comes from something known as the Wife.

With kind regards,


01-28-2018, 06:16 PM
Ditto to what Bob said, and I think a prop that has been is service and subsequently removed is more valuable than a surplus one in identical condition. Keep in mind that virtually any propeller that is over 80 years old like this will only be a display propeller, even when the aircraft that used it may still be flying. So minor delaminations and dings and bruises on an original finish don't really detract much if any from value. Sometimes a defect will even add value (e.g. an authentic bullet hole).

A quick comment about "history". I tend to discount all of the stories that have been passed down through several owners about a prop's origins and use. I've seen too many that are completely false, and most others are "doubtful".