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Old 04-03-2019, 07:57 AM   #1
Ian Woodford
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
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Default Help identifying 60HP Le Rhone prop

Hello. A friend of mine has a 60HP Le Rhone propeller that he found in his shed when he moved into the property. I'm told by the people at The Shuttleworth Collection that it might be off a Bristol Babe.
Does anyone know any more about this prop please?
I have photos if anyone is interested.
Many thanks.
Ian.
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File Type: jpg IMG-20190107-WA0014.jpg (92.8 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg IMG-20190107-WA0016.jpg (80.4 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg IMG-20190107-WA0018.jpg (86.0 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg IMG-20190107-WA0020.jpg (86.2 KB, 9 views)
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Old 04-03-2019, 08:39 AM   #2
Dbahnson
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I would certainly respect the Shuttleworth's guess, but at the same time I'm skeptical of it being used on a Bristol Babe, which is a tractor configuration. Your propeller has a left hand thread, but I would expect a right hand thread to be used on any tractor engine using a LeRhone engine (unless there was a version of the Rhone that rotated opposite of the typical Rhone).

So I would look for a Bristol airplane that had a pusher configuration (rather than tractor) and also used a 60 HP LeRhone engine. I don't know offhand what that group might include. Keep in mind that horsepower figures don't always match in various specifications. The Bristol Boxkite was a pusher, but used a Gnome engine, not a Le Rhone.

It appears that the decal remnant is the same design as this one from another Bristol airplane, so coupled with "B & C" stamped on the hub it's almost certain that it was manufactured by the Bristol factory. I can't explain the difference in decal colors on your propeller, although I know that there were color variants, including blue.




A photo of the entire propeller might be helpful, so if you can post one please do so. But at first glance I think the uncertainty of its thread direction needs to be resolved. The location of the decal on the blade can also be a clue.

Are there any other stamped characters? Bristol drawing numbers has the "P" prefix but I think on yours the "P" refers to pitch, and I don't find any Bristol drawing numbers that match that sequence.







.
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Old 04-03-2019, 04:52 PM   #3
Ian Woodford
 
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Hello. Thanks for your very interesting reply. I have some more photos for you... Sorry if I've repeated any.
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File Type: jpg IMG-20190107-WA0015.jpg (91.1 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg IMG-20190107-WA0019.jpg (77.9 KB, 7 views)
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Old 04-03-2019, 05:05 PM   #4
Dbahnson
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If you have the propeller, can you take a photo of it as if the camera is looking directly down the center hole? (See the photo at the very top of this page.) Also, there should be a flat side and curved side to each blade. Which of those sides is the decal on?

I see now that the decal shown in the newer photos was likely green color on the surface in those places that are green on the decal posted by me earlier, and that it looks as if the green has just chipped off to expose red underneath.
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Old 04-04-2019, 01:50 AM   #5
Ian Woodford
 
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My friend says he'll take some more photos this weekend.
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Old 04-07-2019, 05:04 PM   #6
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Hello, I have some more photos. Please see attached.
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File Type: jpg IMG-20190407-WA0008.jpg (96.5 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg IMG-20190407-WA0002.jpg (96.3 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg IMG-20190407-WA0004.jpg (96.6 KB, 3 views)
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Old 04-07-2019, 05:07 PM   #7
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More pics. Some similar to before.
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File Type: jpg IMG-20190407-WA0005.jpg (94.4 KB, 1 views)
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Old 04-07-2019, 05:10 PM   #8
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And more...
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Old 04-07-2019, 05:22 PM   #9
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Well, I can't be sure what it was used for, but if you get Bob Gardner's book, British Propeller Makers of WW1: Part Two, on page 30 there is a photo of a Bristol propeller that looks very similar to yours, notably is also a left hand thread. On yours it also looks like the decals are on the rear surface, as is often seen with a pusher configuration. The propeller shown in Bob's book was used for gun fire tests.

The only Bristol pusher aircraft that I'm familiar was the Bristol Boxkite, but that has listed a Gnome engine rather than a Le Rhone engine (although they might have experimented with different engines at some point).

So I guess it's possible that it was made for the Boxkite, and it's possible that it was made specifically for gun fire tests, which also might explain the absence of a typical drawing number. If Bob Gardner checks in on this thread he might be able to provide more insight.
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Old 04-08-2019, 01:06 PM   #10
Ian Woodford
 
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Thank you again for your time and efforts on this. What exactly do you mean by gunfire tests?
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