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Old 04-30-2018, 07:13 AM   #1
TGardner
 
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Default Ww1 wooden propeller 4 blade

I have a First World War wooden propeller which I believe to be off an SE5A biplane, but I would appreciate if anyone could confirm this for me? The markings on the propeller are Falcon Airscrew FE8; 7928 DNG 29608. I have also attached photos of the propeller. Each of the blades has a label which states DMD London on it. Any feedback would be much appreciated.
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File Type: jpg Prop 2.jpg (90.2 KB, 8 views)
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Old 04-30-2018, 08:49 AM   #2
Bob Gardner
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Yesterday I communicated with a Bob; now a Gardner!

The elegant lines of the prop show it to be designed by the Royal Aircraft Factory (RAF). It was made for the FE8, a pusher fighter, an evolution of the FE2 and was powered by a 100hp Gnome Monosoupape. Production of propellers was parcelled out to many commercial woodwork firms by the RAF.

DMD are the initials of DM Davies of Tottenham Rd, Holloway in London who owned the Falcon Airscrew Co.

Most FE8 props were made to drg no. T7928. Darraq appears to be the major maker of this prop.

All the few DMD props I have seen have a decal on each blade. It is dated 27 Feb 1917. This date has appeared on several of these props and is probably a contract date, rather than the date it was made. The Government paid DMD £21-0s-d for each prop.

Could you please photograph the best of the decals so I can add it to my photographic collection of WW1 prop decals.

With kind regards,

Bob
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Last edited by Bob Gardner; 04-30-2018 at 09:03 AM.
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Old 05-01-2018, 04:15 AM   #3
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Default WW1 Propeller FE8

Hi Bob

Thanks for the information that has solved the problem of actually what plane the prop was made for. I have attached a photo of the best decal as some are due the age slightly worn. I was wondering if you have a rough estimation of the value as I may need to include on our insurance as separate item.

Regards

Tony
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Old 05-01-2018, 05:33 AM   #4
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Tony,

Your prop has several values. If sold at auction it would probably make £3-4000 GBP. But the vagaries of auctions could extend this bracket to £2500-£5000. Note that these are hammer prices, to which the auctioneer will add his commission of 15-20% plus VAT.

A dealer, as I once was, would lightly conserve any damage and beeswax it and then offer it for sale. Nowadays prices are about £8-10,000 GBP. This upper figure is your insurance value.

But note that such props come to auction rarely. The chance of finding a similar DMD prop are remote. Even finding any good four-bladed prop from WW1 might take two years.

Thank you for the photograph of the decal. It is better than most and I will digitally repair and restore it.

With kind regards,

Bob
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Old 05-06-2018, 06:09 AM   #5
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Smile Prop

Hi Bob

Many thanks for your reply, since the prop came into my possession I havenít treated it with anything, if I apply beeswax should I not touch the decal with it, also how often would you advise me applying beeswax? Another concern is that I have noticed when using furniture polish with beeswax as we live an old property we tend to get mould so we do tend not to use household polishes which have beeswax in them, and since doing so we donít have mould appearing on furniture, so would pure beeswax be ok to apply? Any further advice is appreciated.

Regards. Tony
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Old 05-15-2018, 01:43 PM   #6
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Greetings Tony,

FOR TONY

There are one or two articles on this web site about restoring props which you might wish to read.

The golden rules are;

When you buy an early prop you take on the responsibility for preserving it.

A brief description of the rules for conservation is;

If it looks good, leave it as it is.

If the prop is dirty, remove the dirt a little at a time with luke-warm water on a cloth with a tiny smear of washing-up liquid as a de-greaser. Always try an experiment beforehand on an obscure corner of the prop to see if there is an adverse reaction.

When degreased and cleaned and dry, wax it gently with pure bees-wax which has no additives. Use a soft cloth and a small finger tip of bees wax. As before, conduct a trial on some small inconsequential part. If successful you will be delighted with the finish. If the prop was particularly dry when you bought it, wax it again every couple of months.

Always bear in mind that it is always a success to do nothing. It has taken about 100 years for a WW1 prop to achieve its present condition.

With kind regards,

Bob

FOR DAVE

I'm answering several such requests constantly and I am happy to reply to each, but the thought occurs that I should write a definitive article on how to care for your prop, including your choice of shellac, and some of PM's notes.

Please advise!

With kind regards,

Bob
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Old 05-16-2018, 07:10 AM   #7
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I think that would be great, Bob. We'll make it a sticky and hopefully save some original props from ruin.
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