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Old 07-26-2019, 08:08 PM   #1
pdrisc
 
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Default Looking for help identifying a Prop

I've exhausted all of my forensic internet search skills and am now turning to the experts for some help.

My Dad and I found this in a barn in New Hampshire about 40 years ago. It was painted head to toe with multiple layers of metallic silver paint which we hand-stripped to find this beauty underneath. I have no idea what it was originally mounted on, but here are the general stats...

Overall length - 7'10"
Bolt Holes (E) - 8
Thickness (G) - 6.5"
Diameter (D) - 7-7/8"
Center Bore (B) - 3.146"
Bolt Size (F) - 0.5"
Bolt Circle (C) - 6.69"
(these stats point to a Wright engine from the only chart I could find)

On one side of the hub, there are letters depicting:
VE7-E
RHT (probably means right hand rotation?)
N-19822
OAK (what it's made of?)

The other side of the hub is harder to read, but looks like:
1998-33
7-10 559

The leading edges are coated in a metal that looks like brass or copper with multiple dots of maybe lead filling in above fasteners possibly?

Looks like 9 layers of oak laminated together (to the casual observer).

I would love to hear if anyone has seen one like this or has any info to share. Thanks in advance!
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Old 07-26-2019, 09:20 PM   #2
Dbahnson
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I'm going to have to look through some documents at home next week. At first glance I have a suspicion that the "V" in the drawing number refers to "Vaught", an aircraft designer, but at this point that's just a wild speculation.
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Old 07-26-2019, 09:22 PM   #3
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Actually, a quick Google search comes up with this page, which I think will explain your prop.
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Old 07-26-2019, 10:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dbahnson View Post
Actually, a quick Google search comes up with this page, which I think will explain your prop.
Makes sense. The dimensions chart from this web site pointed to a Wright engine (model I or E) which is mentioned in that wiki page. I did see one in person that looked just like mine mounted on an SE-5 in the Science Museum of London, which also used a Hispano-Suiza engine, so maybe they were similar.

Now I guess the next step is to figure out the year from the rest of the numbers and find a photo of one on a VE-7.
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Old 07-27-2019, 07:52 AM   #5
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In thirty years of research into British and German WW1 props I have never seen an oak propeller! Was oak much used by the USN?

The seminal scientific experimental work of Lucien Chauviere in France c1910 showed definitively that the best woods for aircraft props were walnut and mahogany, which became the norm in Europe until composites arrived c1935.

With kind regards,

Bob
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Old 07-27-2019, 07:57 AM   #6
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And a magnification of your erect photo shows laminations of mahogany or walnut. So does the word OAK indicate something else? Perhaps the name of a USN ship or shore establishment?

Bob
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Old 07-27-2019, 03:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Gardner View Post
And a magnification of your erect photo shows laminations of mahogany or walnut. So does the word OAK indicate something else? Perhaps the name of a USN ship or shore establishment?

Bob
Thatís definitely possible. Iím not good enough at identifying wood types to know the difference. It does look a lot like my oak furniture, though.

There is some text on this web site (Wooden Propeller Construction - Materials) that talks about oak in early US propeller manufacturing...

ďAround 1915 oak became the material of choice for Paragon propellers built by the American Propeller Company, after it had produced a number of beautifully constructed propellers of oak exteriors combined with spruce interiors prior to that time. The decision to use all oak was driven by demands of cost and speed of production. The company had experience with every kind of wood ever used for propellers, but firmly believed that quarter-sawn oak was "incomparably the best material we have ever used." They felt that mahogany was too soft and crumbly and had poor resistance to wear, and that walnut was too brittle to justify its increase in strength. As a testimonial to oak, they pointed out that of 8,000 oak propellers delivered in 1916 to the Canadian RFC over an 18 month period, only 4 failed to pass final inspection in Canada and not one was ever returned from the fields with any complaintĒ

So I guess itís possible that it could be oak? Very interesting that you have never seen one Bob! I wonder if itís rare?
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Old 07-28-2019, 06:06 AM   #8
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Yes, most of the Paragons I've seen were made of oak, but mahogany was the wood of choice for much of the military so Paragon used that in many of those propellers. The prop shown at the top of this page is made of oak.

Oak can vary in color considerably and can mimic a different species in that sense.
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Old 07-28-2019, 06:22 AM   #9
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Thank you, both of you. I am now older and wiser!

With kind regards,

Bob
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