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-   -   Early Wooden Prop I.D. (http://woodenpropeller.com/forumvB/showthread.php?t=596)

Grazza 06-30-2008 10:24 AM

Early Wooden Prop I.D.
I have a prop that has the following decals and stampings on it .The decals have the name Vickers Levasseur but either side of the large bird(eagle?) carrying a stylised prop is a silver "L" on one side of the bird and a red "L" on the other side. Below all of this is "Patent No.12466.12". The stamping on one side of the hub of the prop has "MO40" beneath which is "No.225". Below this is "SERIE 151". On the other side of the hub is as follows: "NO40" and below this is "DIAMETRE 2M/0". The prop is 2,400 mm in diameter.As per the "Hub Dimensions Chart" the following has been measured.
C-4.71875" (4 23/32")
D-6.375 (Impression of metal hub on the Wood)
F-.4375 (7/16')
The prop has a pronounced scimitar shape, has 5 laminers of a reddish-brown wood.
If anyone can help me I.D. this prop I would appreciate it greatly.

Dave 07-01-2008 09:42 AM

I looked in my Levasseur number listings and couldn't find that Series number, but I wonder if it is a post WW1 company joining Vickers and Levasseur.

Do you have a photo? The decal would be interesting to see as well as the propeller itself.

Grazza 07-02-2008 02:17 AM

Thank you Dave for your reply.I am getting some photos organised but I am a novice with computers.The hub thickness is 3.875" or 98mm. The props verbal history is as follows. The Great Uncle, of an elderly friend who gave the prop to me, worked in a prop factory in England during WW1. At the end of hostilities most of the props were cut up but the manager decided to sell finished props to the workers for 5 pounds each. This is the prop that my friends Great Uncle bought. It had been in their family since WW! and was brought by my friend to Australia when he emigrated. He then gave it to me in 1990. My elderly friend used to tell me the stories that his Great Uncle told him about working conditions in the factory and some of the happenings at the factory.My friend was born in 1926.If I can't get the photos on the web then I will attempt to e-mail them to you so that you can put them up for all to see. Thank you.

Dave 07-02-2008 07:39 AM

Here's a picture of the Levasseur decal I've seen, which sounds similar but distinctly different than what you are describing:


The hub dimensions don't seem to match up with any of the listed engines either, although it's close to a LeRhone 80 size, and the measurements can change a bit over time as the wood dries out (but usually not by that much).

Grazza 07-03-2008 07:11 PM

I have carefully removed the prop from its wall mounting and given it a good clean.By using different lighting techniques I have found that the diameter stamping is in fact 2M40 not 2M/0 and the MO40 is NO40 as it is shown on the other side of the hub.Also the decal in the photo that you posted is on the rear face of the prop but it is quite small.It would fit inside a rectangle, 2.5"x1.25".The Vickers Levasseur decal fits inside a rectangle,3.75"x2".I am endeavouring to get some photos for you and they should be coming soon.The verbal history told to my elderly friend by his Great Uncle has to be treated with a bit of suspicion until proven accurate. Thank you for the infomation.

Grazza 07-03-2008 10:39 PM

Dave here are the photos that you requested. the photo above the prop appear to be evenly spaced 1/8" dowels spaced 2 13/16" apart. They are all over both blades and go through the prop. As can be seen.the hub on one side has been got at, why I don't know.






Bob Gardner 07-04-2008 06:40 AM

Your prop is fabulous but probably of an unknown type. Similarly the union of Vickers with Levasseur is probably also unknown. I do hope not and that someone can identify which aircraft this astonishing prop came from. The shape suggests an aircraft from before WW1 or (irrespective of date) from an odd-ball one-off type of aircraft such as an ornithopter or helicopter.

May I use the photograph of the decal in the next revision of my CD book on British WW1 aircraft? Hopefully someone will be able to tell us what aircraft it came from. I'll do some research tonight.

With regards,


Bob Gardner 07-04-2008 06:47 AM

Postscript. The construction of the prop is British and from before 1918, which would suggest that it was made by Vickers to a French design of Levasseur.

Levasseur provided several types of props for the British, most notably for French rotary engines for the Camel and for the Hisso engines fitted to the SPAD and SE5 aircraft. These latter two aircraft had props of 2400mm diameter, but not of this shape!


Grazza 07-04-2008 08:00 AM

Thank you Bob for your quick response.You have my permission to use the decal in your next revision of your book. Could you please supply me with its full title and when do you expect the next revision to be coming out. I apologise for the mistake in my original request. The "silver L" should be a "silver P". Now that the prop can be examined more closely, I have found that the bolt size "F" should be 27/64" or .4218", not 7/16". I have carefully measured all 8 bolt holes and they are all 27/64". I then got a guide pin of 27/64" dia. and it slides very snugly through all 8 holes. The prop is certainly a puzzle. Thank you for your help.
P.S. The "Helice Levasseur decal" on the prop is not a decal at all but either a stamping into the wood or a branding into the wood. The wood is deformed around the writing. Would you like me to send a photo of it to you?. It will come with an e-mail.

Dave 07-04-2008 09:03 AM

I must say, that is a peculiar looking propeller.

Notice how with a right hand rotation, the concave surface is the leading edge? I don't know if I've seen that design before. And it certainly is scimitar shaped, to say the least.

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