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  • Bob Gardner
    replied
    Dick,

    An American origin from the 1930's feels correct to me. I doubt if the English language as spoken by the English before WW2 could have produced such a snazzy phrase. It seems typical to me of the neo-Elizabethan American language which blossomed in the first half of the twentieth century.

    Bob
    Last edited by Bob Gardner; 03-22-2010, 06:57 AM.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Deadstick

    Thanks to both of you, Bob and Dave for responding. Just so you know the Wikipedia article clains the term originated in the 30's. Dick

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  • Bob Gardner
    replied
    Dave,

    I have never heard a prop referred to as a stick in English books or in any English correspondence of the time, only the control column. I can't recall seeing the term used in any verbatim accounts from the time. But I might be wrong. I'll keep a lookout for the term. I am currently reading an account of aviation in 1918 full of extracts from aviators' letters home, which might produce something.

    From an English point of view, the term has a strong American feel to it.

    With kind regards,

    Bob

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  • Dave
    replied
    I posted this question on the AOPA forum and got this response from one of the members:

    "Dave, no reference but I understand the term dates back to WWI. The european slang for the wooden prop on military airplanes of that day was "stick" and when it wasn't turning, it was called a "dead stick." If a plane landing at the aerodrome was seen to not have a turning propeller, they called out "dead stick"

    I'd say Wikipedia reflects most accurate meaning of the term."

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  • Bob Gardner
    replied
    Hi Dick,

    It seems that both spellings are in common use, both deadstick and dead stick.

    I hope someone else can discover something.

    With kind regards,

    Bob

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  • Dave
    replied
    The dictionary isn't always right, and in this case all it says is the term "evokes" and "leaden" feeling, but doesn't state a real derivation.

    With no power, there's nothing "dead" feeling about the stick, any more than there is in a glider, but certainly there is a "dead" feeling about the engine in that situation.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Deadstick

    I'm embarassed I did not think to look in the dictionary. Thanks. Dick

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  • Bob Gardner
    replied
    Further to my post above, the Oxford English Dictionary gives the spelling as deadstick, but offers no derivation. Another source states,

    Landing with no power available from the engines. Term evokes
    leaden feeling of the aircraft controls (joystick in the old days).


    With kind regards,

    Bob

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  • Bob Gardner
    replied
    It sounds reasonable. Although the contol column is colloquially called a stick, it was probably unaffected by a dead engine in the 1920's. But I have never come across any reference to a prop being called a stick. It seems to be universally abbreviated to the word prop, which is probably easier and quicker to say in everyday speech than the word stick.

    I'll do some research.

    With kind regards,

    Bob
    Last edited by Bob Gardner; 03-20-2010, 08:51 AM.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest started a topic Question about the term "dead stick"

    Question about the term "dead stick"

    I am doing some research on the 1927 Dole Race and googled the term "dead stick landing." Wikipedia says the term refers to the wooden propeller not turning and thus forcing a glide landing. It seems somewhat logical except the controls are done with a "stick." So I am wondering if you all agree or disagree with the origin of the term "dead stick landking."
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