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pmdec 11-30-2007 12:42 AM

Propeller identification

I would be very pleased if anybody can tell who made this propeller (probably french or european). The marks tell that it is for a Breguet 19 A2 with a 400 HP Lorraine motor.
Serial is 41, but I don't know what is the signification of "17 o C 5 C o 30".

Thank you by advance, and sorry for my poor english !


Bob Gardner 11-30-2007 07:18 AM


One of the reasons Dave Bahnson created this forum was to explain how to identify a prop. You have provided excellent photographs of your prop and have explained all the important data on the hub!

This prop is French, dating from the late 1920's. The data on the hub of a French prop generally identifies the aircraft and engine but was written in short hand which can be difficult to follow.

I can't identify the small markings on the hub (17 o C 5 C o 30). They are typical of reference numbers of a maker. I don't know what they mean.

The Serie Numero 41 is the drawing number. A two digit number like this is typical of makers such as Ratier and Eclair.

The Breguet 19 was a superb French bomber, developed in the 1920's from the war time Breguet 14. The 19A2 was the reconnaisance version. In addition to the bomber version there were several other uses including a ground attack version and a night fighter.

Several engine types were used including Renault and Hispano Suiza but the Lorraine-Dietrich in the 400hp version (cv is the French abbreviation for hp) was the most common. Over 2700 examples of this aircraft were built.

I can see no indication on the prop of who made it. Most of the WW1 makers ceased to trade at the end of the war. I think this included Eclair. Ratier became the major maker in France and my guess is that they made this prop.

Originally your prop would have been covered in a protective coating of black resin.

With regards,


Dave 11-30-2007 07:44 AM

The 10 hole bolt pattern is fairly unusual, and might help narrow the engine down somewhat. The metal leading edges are also a little atypical of the earlier French propellers.

Ratier did make a serie 40 propeller for the Breguet. Perhaps this is a later model?

Bob Gardner 11-30-2007 11:17 AM

Hi Dave,

Sorry! I didn't make myself clear. The engine was the Lorraine-Dietrich in the 400hp version.

With regards,


pmdec 11-30-2007 04:18 PM


Thank you very much for the replies. I am pretty sure it is not a Ratier : the serial n° 41 was effectively made for Breguet, but for a 260HP motor. The first Ratier in the 41 serial was sold on february 1917 : too early for a Breguet XIX !
And there are other "incompatible" details :
- the letters used to make the markings are different from Ratier habits,
- I don't know a single Ratier with other marks on the flat side of the hub than isolated letters or digits. I suppose (but not sure !) the marking on this one is a date : 17-5-[19]30 (french habits for dates are Day - Month - Year),
- the shape is not a typical Ratier shape.

So, I'll try to look for others factories which made propellers for Breguet 19.

Thank you for your attention !

PS : I have some documentation about Ratier propellers, and even about Rapid propellers (the first name for propellers made by Ratier from 1910 to 1914 in association with an Arts & Métiers ingineer). I anybody need some information or identification, I will give it with peasure if I can.

Bob Gardner 11-30-2007 06:49 PM


I would be very grateful if you could send me copies of the information you have about Ratier and Rapid. (I have only one photograph of a Rapid prop in my collection). If you can send them electronically please e-mail me using the button below this reply.

Avec le respect,


pmdec 11-30-2007 11:03 PM


It will be very difficult sending the information I have access to : there are more than 45.000 pages (bills, letters and propellers caracteristics) for the 1910 to 1930 period and many more for later !
These informations are only partially about propellers as Ratier was a subcontractor for electrical appliances and planes (Ratier made many Breguet wings during WW1) until 1922, but propellers caracteristics and sales are mixed with others works in the books before 1924 !!!

So, it is possible for me to answer precise questions, but I can't copy all !!!

For the Rapid propellers, the serial is 1, 2 or 3 letters (A, B, C, H, J, K, ..., Z , AB to CS plus Ko, TX and VTT (1692 propellers made between may 1910 and december 1914)).

The Ratier serial 1 was made in 1915. There is a continuous numerotation from 1 to 2476 (october 1959), including "moulinets" (for aircraft engine on the bench), props for hydrofoil ... and for cars (Hélica and one all-Ratier model). Probably, some numbers were never made (the books show the caracteristics but there is no trace of manufacturing). For the numbers between 1 and 225, I have only the diameter, path and the engine made and power (the first manufacturer book as disappeared), but for the number 226 to 2476, I have many caracteristics : more than 10.000 pages ...

I am a member of an association who published a book about Ratier :
We don't sell it (!) but we will be happy to exchange it with same value material concerning Ratier ... or others material/documents relative to propeller making.

PS : I'm very intersested by your photo of a Rapid propeller : we have some "scripted" informations, but very few graphics !!!

Bob Gardner 12-01-2007 06:16 AM


I have just finished a book on WW1 propellers. Volume I describes the history of the early propellers made by America, Britain, France and Germany. Volume 2 describes the propellers of GB in detail.

I am now starting on Vol 3 and 4 which will describe the makers and drawing numbers of French and German props. I have no information on Rapid propellers. Only a photograph of one that I found a few months ago in a British museum.

I am collecting a German propeller from the Ruhr on Tuesday. If you live in North France, would it be possible for me to visit you on Wednesday to see some of your information? I could photograph some of your documents, if you would allow me to do so.

Also please advise the publisher of your book so that I can buy a copy.

I'll post a picture of the rapid propeller later this morning.

Avec les salutations,


Bob Gardner 12-01-2007 07:57 AM


Here are two photographs of the Rapid propeller and the decal. The prop is marked for a 28hp Anzani engine. (The man holding the prop is not me, by the way.)



Bob Gardner 12-01-2007 08:03 AM

Can you also identify or explain what these two decals from French propellers mean, please. I have not been able to discover anything about them, nor translate them.



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