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Old 08-27-2019, 10:10 AM   #1
Bob Gardner
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Default Peculiar prop by WD Oddy, c1914

The RAF Museum in London has been sent photographs of a propeller made by WD Oddy in Leeds and the RAFM have asked me to comment. I have copied my thoughts to them below in italics. You will see that I don't know what it is and I would appreciate the views of our experts, particularly Pierre-Michel Decombeix in France and Dave Bahnson in the States.

This prop is bizarre! It does not seem to be a viable propeller, nor an auxiliary propeller because it is not an airscrew. My first impression is that it is an advertising piece or perhaps an apprentice piece. But there are contra-indications.

It carries the drg no. AD558 which is the Admiralty drg no. for a full-size prop for the 75hp Rolls Royce engine, with D2480m and P1480mm, that was used mainly c1912-1914 to power; the Avro 504, SSP and SSZ Airships, MF Shorthorn; and also the BE2D and Avro 504F, which probably date from later in WW1.

The diameter of this item is 29 inches, 740mm, whereas auxiliary props on aircraft were about ten inches in diameter. It has never flown because there are no bolt holes nor hub witness-marks. The hexagonal hole on one side of the hub dates from the 1920s to 30s when it was used on a farm for drying corn. It carries the number 408 which suggests similar props were made in some numbers, which would seem to negate my thought that it is an apprentice piece or an advertising piece.

The Imperial War Museum in London has a prop with the drawing number AD558 with a serial number 268. I don't know if this is a full size 2480mm prop or a 740mm prop like this one.

ADP is the admiralty airworthiness stamp which implies that an Admiralty inspector passed it as airworthy. This might be attention to detail on an advertising piece, but, bearing in mind the high serial number of 408 this again probably negates my thought that it is a show-piece not intended to fly.


I would appreciate the thoughts of my fellow forumites.

With kind regards,

Bob
Attached Images
File Type: jpg ODDY 1.jpg (98.0 KB, 12 views)
File Type: jpg ODDY 3.jpg (91.5 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg ODDY 4.jpg (92.1 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg Oddy decal.jpg (94.6 KB, 11 views)
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Last edited by Bob Gardner; 08-27-2019 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 08-27-2019, 02:37 PM   #2
pmdec
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Hi Bob,

I am very honored you ask my opinion but I am sorry to not be able to add anything useful to your comment excepted it seems to be made from oak which was not used, at least in France, before late in 1917 and, to my knowmedge, no more after 1922 (only beech, mahogany and wallnut after 1922).
About the shape, to me too it seems without pitch!

Best regards,
PM
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Old 08-27-2019, 05:44 PM   #3
Bob Gardner
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Thanks Pierre-Michel,

I hadn't noticed it was made of oak. That's not a wood used in GB, neither RFC nor RAF, nor RNAS. It adds to the peculiarity! And suggests it was never made to fly. Similarly, it is not a screw, so that makes me more certain that it was not made to fly and is a souvenir or farewell gift or something like that. I can't see that it would be capable of blowing air to dry corn on the farm in the 1920's. Do you agree?

With kind regards,

Bob
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Last edited by Bob Gardner; 08-27-2019 at 06:03 PM.
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