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View Full Version : Darracq Wooden Propeller - can you identify it for me?


charltonjon
09-07-2008, 03:38 AM
Following my Father's death, I have acquired a Darracq propeller. I don't know anything at all about aeroplanes (I'm more interested in vintage buses and classic cars), so have no idea if it's valuable, rare etc.

It's marked Darracq Motor Eng Co Ltd London, as you can see from the photos below and is around 8 foot long. There is a small chip on it, as can be seen in the photos.

Here are some pictures of it. If anyone can help to identify, date, value it or tell me something of its history, I'd be very grateful.

Many thanks.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3269/2833972906_2e29b95804_b.jpg
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3242/2833972914_384601bbed_b.jpg
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3094/2833972926_f5065aaa6a_b.jpg
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3220/2833972932_1a2db10cce_b.jpg

Bob Gardner
09-07-2008, 07:04 AM
Hello John, if I guess your name correctly!

Your prop is a lovely example. It has the drg number T1708, where the letter T indicates a design of the Royal Aircraft Factory. It was designed for the Airco company's De H 5 designed by Geoffrey de Haviland in 1916. The name is written as DH5 nowadays.

This ac was a design cul-de-sac intended to give the pilot a good forward and upward view by using staggered wings with the upper wing behind the pilot. But this merely transferred the forward blind spot to a rear blind spot. Additionally it's performance was only adequate. It was soon diverted from its role of fighter to both an advanced fighter trainer and to a ground attack aircraft.

Many woodworking firms were conscripted to make props during WW1. Darracq was a car builder of some fame when cars had wooden chassis's and bodies. They were contracted to the Royal Aircraft Factory and made props of their design for the BE12, DH2 and FE8 as well as the DH5.

All WW1 British props are rare and the DH5 was pareticularly rare but this does not necessarily mean an increase in value. The DH5 was not an iconic ac such as the SE5 or Sopwith Camel. A year ago this prop would have sold for 800-1000 gbp at auction. In these parlous financial times, probably less.

As it came from your father and you have an interest in cars I hope you will keep it. Some of your descendents a hundred years downstream will be grateful if you do.

With regards,

Bob

charltonjon
09-07-2008, 08:10 AM
Bob - thank you very much for your fast and detailed response. I'd presumed that there was a link between the cars and this prop. It's nice to know the detail behind its manufacture.

It would be nice to keep it and I may do so as there's certainly no rush to move it.

Thanks again ad I have to say, I've learned a great deal from looking at the pages on this site.

Best regards

Jon

Bob Gardner
09-07-2008, 10:13 AM
Jon,

A postscript; thank you for the excellent photographs of the AID markings (those little square boxes). AID stands for Aircraft Inspection Department and I have started compiling a database of these numbers. Eventually this might give a picture of how this organisation worked and might one day help me identify a prop when all else fails.

If any other forumites have British WW1 props marked with these little boxes, I would be most grateful if you can tell the numbers in them (they are notoriously difficult to read) together with the rest of the data from your prop. It will help the long term research into WW1 props

With regards to everyone,

Bob