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Old 07-26-2018, 07:39 AM   #1
Winscombe Willy
 
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I am attaching two photographs of a propeller formerly belonging to my wife's grandmother but now deposited in the museum in Weston-super-Mare. Family tradition has it that the item was given to her when she was working on aircraft manufacture at Filton in Bristol at the beginning of the first world war. This seems unlikely to my wife and me as the propeller does not look big enough to have driven an aeroplane. We also wonder why it would have been given to a girl who could have been little more than fifteen years of age at the time. I am sorry that the photographs are so poor but the propeller is in a floodlit glass case in the museum.
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Old 07-26-2018, 07:54 AM   #2
Dbahnson
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Propellers come in all sizes, but generally speaking the common WW1 engines used props averaging around 8 feet in length. With improved engines and higher RPMs developed in the twenties and beyond propellers were generally more in the six to seven foot range. (There are LOTS of exceptions to that, of course.)

Note that the prop pictured has not been drilled for hub bolts. Typically, that implies that the prop was rejected during manufacture (which might explain how it ended up with a 15 year old) or in some rarer cases was kept as a spare to be drilled before use. (The only other possibility I can imagine was that it used a "Rupp fastener" which had partially drilled holes in the rear of the hub only, which we can't see in the photo.)

If there is any information stamped on the hub, it might help identify it.
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Old 08-13-2018, 03:07 PM   #3
Bob Gardner
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William,

The prop was designed by the Lang Propeller Co. Ltd. There might be a drawing number beginning LP on the hub somewhere.

Those red and white bands half way along each blade might indicate a Flight Commander.

With kind regards,

Bob
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Old 08-13-2018, 03:21 PM   #4
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Post script:

Can you tell us the length from tip to tip?

With kind regards,

Bob
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Old 08-14-2018, 04:45 AM   #5
Winscombe Willy
 
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Thanks for your interest Bob, I will contact the museum and see if they will measure the propeller for me.
Kind Regards,
Andrew Wilson.
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Old 08-14-2018, 07:56 AM   #6
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Thanks Andrew!

The museum looks wonderfully laid out.

I'll email them to see if they have a record of drawing numbers for their props which I can add to my database.

With kind regards,

Bob
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Old 08-14-2018, 10:03 AM   #7
Winscombe Willy
 
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Good Afternoon Bob,

It is an excellent little museum, recently reopened after a two year overhaul.

Although Weston had a strong connection with aviation, there is not a great deal about it in the museum. I am fairly sure that this is the only propeller they have.

If you are at all interested google ''Aircraft Production in Weston-super-Mare'' and you will find a number of interesting articles.

My father was technical training officer at No.1 Radio School RAF Locking for a time and my mother-in-law helped build Bristol Beaufighters at Weston's Oldmixon factory during WW2.

Aerospace Bristol is,of course, a fantastic museum and houses the last Concorde to fly.

I have attached a copy of an email that I sent to Weston Museum this morning.

Kind Regards,

Andrew.
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Old 08-15-2018, 08:08 AM   #8
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Thank you Andrew.

I do hope we can discover the data stamped on the prop. The angular shape is the hall mark of the Lang Propeller Company and their drawing number will be LP followed by three or four numbers. This will indicate the aircraft type it was fitted to.

Lang was the aircraft prop maker to the Royal Navy and therefore to Sopwith's who made most of the aircraft for the Navy. But he also made props for the Army as well; i.e. the RFC and then the RAF.

With kind regards,

Bob
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