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Old 11-03-2007, 03:38 PM   #1
Wingnut
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Default ID of propeller for aircraft wind generator

Hi!

I am new to this forum, and I am investigating the following:
A colleague of mine brought this propeller to work today.
He got it from his old ant that found it in the attic...
It is obvious from some kind of wind driven generator, but for what aircraft.
We are certain that it's orgin is an aircraft once operated by the Norwegian Air Force or (if it is WWII) possibly some German type.

It is produced by "Helice Levasseur" and measures 60 cm in diameter (tip to tip).
The blades are wooden and the hub has the following stamped into it:
"6309"
"MAP"
"C" (inside a ring)
"P4 PT" inside a hexagon

Both blades are individualy adjustable with a scale numbered from 0-33 on each blade root.
Both blades got a table that probably is a guide to adjusting the pitch for
best angle/flying speed) (see pictures)

So, over to the experts out there.
If anyone could help me with a few clues to how old it is or even better what types of aircraft might have used this type of wind generator, I would be very happy.

E.
(Norway)









edit: pictures linked
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Old 11-04-2007, 02:49 PM   #2
Bob Gardner
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Hello Wingnut,

Your prop is an auxiliary prop for generating electricity on an aircraft. 500 watts was the sort of power required on bombers from the end of WW1 to the mid 1920's. One of the problems encountered with these props was that the aircraft had to be flown within certain airspeeds as indicated on the calibration chart, otherwise a cutout operated.

This necessitated a range of props for different aircraft. The British had four or five types to cover the spectrum of speed ranges. If your prop is adjustable, the thought occurs that the blades might be spring loaded, the pitch thinning off with speed to keep the wattage produced constant. Or perhaps to produce an aux prop that could be fitted to any type of aircraft. This is just a guess. I hope someone out there knows more and tells us.

Your photographs are excellent. Might I use them in my book on props? I have a general description of aux props in Volume One and a description of British aux props in Volume Two. I am currently writing Vol Three on French props.

Levasseur was a French maker who made particularly elegant wooden props in WW1. I don't think I have any record of the company after that, so maybe they did not survive the inter war years.

The visible machining on the hub does not suggest a production prop. I think it must have been an experimental one, perhaps for wind tunnel use.

Helice is French for propeller. The Levasseur decal is to the war time design. By the mid twenties I would have expected it to become influenced by Art Deco. The black finish is typical of French props from 1918-to the mid twenties. So I'm pretty sure this dates from c1920.

Sorry to write rather a rambling reply, I didn't have time to write something more concise.

With regards,

Bob
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Old 11-04-2007, 03:47 PM   #3
Wingnut
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Thank you for your information, Bob!
The prop used to belong to a retired aircraft mechanic, who worked at the norwegian air force main maintenance facility, from WWII and into the 1980's. This facility (at Kjeller airfield) started out in 1916 and is still in operation.
The most obvious thought is that this prop orginates from there, but there is of course a remote chance that it has been brought to Norway as a collectible from the UK for instance.
I have to search for clues in old pictures of types used by the Norwegian Air Force (Hærens Flyvevæsen) and the Norwegian Navy Air Force (Marinens Flyvevæsen)..

You can of course use the pictures. I am glad to help.

-
E
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Old 11-04-2007, 05:48 PM   #4
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Tell me if you discover a likely aircraft. Levasseur props of all sizes were used by the British and French during WW1 (and possibly the US Air Service in 1918), but most likely it will be from a French aircraft such as a Breguet.

Bob
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Old 04-19-2012, 06:17 AM   #5
J Savage
 
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Default Wind-gen props

Hi, I also acquired a small wooden prop recently and am trying to identify it.

It's a 4-blader with a 710mm span. Serial number: 6301505 (picture attached).

Any clues would be much appreciated.
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