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Old 04-07-2011, 09:57 AM   #1
Simon Howard
 
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Question 4 bladed Darroco prop

We have a large 4 blade wooden propeller. It has date markings on each blade,1915,1916,1917,and 1918 inclusive and was made by Darraco Motor Engineering Co, London. There are other markings on the rear of the hub, as follows:

100HP
5068 (stamped, so probably a serial number)
F.E.8 (also stamped)
MONOSOUPAPE GNOME
T 7928

There is a barometer fixed to the hub but is a separate item It is marked ‘Luce Bay Air Station’. A couple of relevant excerpts from my 5 minutes of research:

Luce Bay (aeroplanes) and Luce Bay (airships) came firstly (from 1 July 1918) under the control of No. 22 (Marine Operations) Group with HQ at East Fortune, and then (from 12 August 11918) under a new 25 (Marine Operations) Group, HQ Luce Bay. Which had oversight of nine Royal Naval Air Stations in south-west Scotland and Ulster. Within 14 Group ground organisation started with six Coastal Patrol Special Duties Flights (SDF) established on 6 June 1918. 519 and 1520 SDFs at Pembroke, 521 and 522 SDFs at Llangefni and 523 and 124 SDFs at Luce Bay. On 25 July 1918 the six flights came under the umbrella of newly formed 255 Squadron, HQ Pembroke and the first Captain R. R. Soar DSC, a Western Front veteran who had flown planes, Sopwith Camels and Triplane Scouts with 8 Squadron.

One of my ancestors, William Henry Alfred, Viscount Ipswich, (24th July 1884 – 23rd April 1918), was a Lieutenant in the 4th Battalion of the Coldstream Guards and then in the RAF during WW1. The entry in Burkes states that he was wounded in WW1, however then states he was killed in an aeroplane accident on 23rd April 1918. So, we think the propeller must be something to do with him.

I understand that it was probably made for the Gnome Monosoupape engine which was made by the French engine manufacturer Gnome et Rhone, and that the letters F.E.8 suggest it came from an engine fitted in a Royal Aircraft Factory F.E.8.

Last edited by Simon Howard; 04-07-2011 at 12:09 PM.
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Old 04-07-2011, 11:54 AM   #2
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It's identical to this one, having the same drawing number but manufactured by a different manufacturer. (Looks like the link to an FE8 no longer exists, but you can Google FE8 to find photos, etc.)

My guess is that the connection between the propeller and the air station barometer is more likely coincidental than anything, but I don't know that for a fact.

Usually if an aircraft accident was fatal the propeller was destroyed or severely damaged, so I'd be doubtful that that event is related either.

Can you post a photo?

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Old 04-07-2011, 12:03 PM   #3
Simon Howard
 
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You are a star. I have slightly edited my query as I have received further information from the Imperial War Museum in London. Notwithstanding, this is extremely heplful and I will post a photograph when the prop is cleaned up.

Do we know if the F.E.8 was ever used as a trainer?

Last edited by Simon Howard; 04-07-2011 at 12:32 PM.
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Old 04-07-2011, 12:32 PM   #4
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The less you "clean it up" the better. See "DON'T RESTORE YOUR PROP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Was the hub cut out for the barometer or does it fit in the native center bore?
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Old 04-07-2011, 12:35 PM   #5
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I have read same, however I only meant remove layers of dust! Do we know whether the F.E.8 was used as a trainer for the RAF?
I'll get back you on how the barometer is fitted.
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Old 04-07-2011, 01:05 PM   #6
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Herwith some images.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg P1010373.JPG (32.1 KB, 62 views)
File Type: jpg P1010374.JPG (27.9 KB, 62 views)
File Type: jpg P1010375.JPG (27.9 KB, 61 views)
File Type: jpg P1010376.JPG (27.9 KB, 60 views)
File Type: jpg P1010377.JPG (31.4 KB, 62 views)
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Old 04-07-2011, 01:06 PM   #7
Simon Howard
 
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And 4 more............
Attached Images
File Type: jpg P1010378.JPG (31.2 KB, 62 views)
File Type: jpg P1010379.JPG (30.3 KB, 60 views)
File Type: jpg P1010380.JPG (29.1 KB, 59 views)
File Type: jpg P1010381.JPG (26.4 KB, 60 views)
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Old 04-07-2011, 01:12 PM   #8
Simon Howard
 
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There are no permenant fixings for the barometer. Would you like some better photographs? I think I am unfortunately restricted in the size I can post.
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Old 04-07-2011, 01:22 PM   #9
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Good pictures. That's a great looking prop. When Bob Gardner gets around to this thread he may want some high res photos of any decals or stampings.

The FE8 was primarily a fighter aircraft, but was a little slow. See Wikipedia.
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Old 04-07-2011, 04:47 PM   #10
MWP_Lamar
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I have a combination clock, thermometer and barometer hanging on the wall in my den that is housed in a case of identical design as your barometer. There is no printing on the bezel of mine. Inside the clock is a notation of a clock repair performed in 1915. My point being that your barometer definitely seems to be of the correct period, too.

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