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Old 04-07-2011, 07:00 PM   #11
Simon Howard
 
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OK. It looks as though I have sparked some interest in this propeller! Just to make things clear;

1. It is not for sale, except for a ridiculous sum!
2. It is a family heirloom
3. I have an acedemic and historical research interest


With the assistance of yourself and others the propeller has been identified with a date, a manufacturer, an engine, and an aircraft, however I am trying to tie it in with a person.

FITZROY / IPSWICH
(Viscount Ipswich)
William Henry Alfred Fitzroy (Viscount Ipswich). Royal Air Force and 5th Battalion Coldstream Guards. Killed in action on 23rd May 1918. Aged 33. Son of 8th Duke of Grafton; husband of Auriol, Viscountess Ipswich, of Whittlebury, Towcester, Northants. Buried: Euston (St. Genevieve) Churchyard, Suffolk.
Additional information from “The War Illustrated”. Viscount Ipswich, killed while flying in England, was the son and heir of the Earl of Euston and grandson of the Duke of Grafton. On the outbreak of war he enlisted in the East Kent Regiment, and shortly afterwards was given a commission in the Coldstream Guards, and went to France in November 1914. In the spring of 1915 he was invalided home with shell shock, but returned to France in the summer of 1916. In the autumn of 1917 he returned to England to train as an observer in the R.F.C., and although considerably above the recognised age-limit, passed onto a pilot’s course, and met his death almost at the end of his period of training.

I have a few unknowns here;

1. What we do not know is whether he died 'in combat', or in 'training'?
Further research is necessary.
2. Did he keep this propeller after de-commisioning and celebrate the plane on which he had to learnt to fly before his death?
Possible.
3. Is this the propeller of the plane in which he was killed.
Unlikely, and I agree with you, except the propeller was mounted in the rear - depends on point 1.

I favour the idea that he trained on this aircraft and that he decided, after it's demise in warfare use in 1917, post its last use in the battle of Messine(?) in France, prior to Paaschendale, that he would grab a trophy and celebrate its short lifespan.

Thoughts please...............
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Old 04-07-2011, 07:06 PM   #12
Simon Howard
 
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P.S.His father was my mother's father by the former's second marriage, not that that is of any interest!!!!
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Old 04-07-2011, 07:14 PM   #13
Dave
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My experience, and Bob shares this belief as discussed here recently, is that virtually all of the stories that seem to come with these older props are either blatantly erroneous or extremely overstated. There are rare exceptions, of course.

On thing to note here as well. Propellers that have been put into service are clamped tightly at the hub and usually tightened periodically during use to maintain the appropriate torque and therfore tension of the hub. The wood between the hub plates expands and contracts, usually leaving a permanent indentation under the metal plate. This photo shows one example, although it's easier to see from angles other than straight on. Most of the propellers around today survived because they were spares and never actually mounted. The photos of the hub don't show enough detail on yours to make that determination, but look closely for an indentation. I think the Gnome 80 had a metal plate that was 7 1/2 inches, but I'm not sure about that fact.
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Old 04-07-2011, 07:32 PM   #14
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OK. I concurr with the 'erroneous' stories concept, but the question is, 'why have we got this propeller and what is it's significance?'.
Family information indicates that it came from one particular side of the family, and dates would indicate the connection with the member of the family whose information I have shared with you. To me, there has to be a connection.
Notwithstanding that, I am happy to forward better resolution images to anyone concerned. I think it's a great story, and as we are a tourism magnet with this as one of the items on show, well.....need I say more!!!!

It is important to us to give the correct information, and so far, as I have already said, the technical stuff is there, so its the juicy stuff we have to find out about(all due respect meant to one of my ancestors!).
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Old 04-07-2011, 08:56 PM   #15
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Remember, there was a time back then when propellers were more like tires, something to be used and consumed and periodically discarded when they had reached the end of their useful life, like flat tires or broken tips. And like tires, there were many spares. The difference was that tires continued to fit rims, but propellers no longer fit the engines that were quickly developed and required new materials and designs (i.e. metal propellers). That left a large number of obsolete wooden propellers that simply had no further usefulness, other than firewood or decoration. The people who had access to these typically were the pilots, mechanics, and others who worked at the airfields.

It's not too hard to imagine that one of these people would bring one home and tell the 6 year old grandson that he got it from the crash of the Red Baron's Fokker. Kid grows up and tells his son that's what grandpa told me, and the story goes on . . .

I'm not saying that any of this applies here, but those of us who have been around these stories have heard way too many implausible ones to believe the typical explanation, no matter how sincere the storyteller seems to be and how much he believes the story he's telling. Absent real documentation, most of these histories are pure speculation and need to be treated that way at face value.

That doesn't mean that you shouldn't search for the documentation. It's delightful when we find that one of these stories is actually true.

See this thread, which was started just 4 days ago.
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Old 04-07-2011, 09:02 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Howard View Post
Notwithstanding that, I am happy to forward better resolution images to anyone concerned. I think it's a great story, and as we are a tourism magnet with this as one of the items on show, well.....need I say more!!!!
In lieu of taking more photographs, just closely inspect the face of the hub. Does it look like there is a ring around the bolt holes indicating compression of the wood? If not, I'd disregard the theories that it was used on his airplane.
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Old 04-08-2011, 08:20 AM   #17
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I would agree with Dave, the prop does not appear to have witness marks showing a hub has/was fitted. Further I concur that most stories about old crap are just that, stories. Even if the information is true without the appropiate documentation it is all here say. This is not to say you should not continue to do research on it. People need to be careful when paying extra because of these stories. Case in point - I bought my prop from a small local auction house. I viewed the item and set up a phone bid on the item. Two minutes before I was to bid the auction rep advised me that it had come from the home of Sir Charles Kingsford Smith. The was no note on the item at the viewing and I figured I could not pay any extra as I had no proof of this claim. It happened that I ended up being the high bidder and when I picked up the prop they provided all the documents to support their claims. After doing further research I have found it is probaby the prop he damaged in Nowra when taking a newly wed couple for a joy ride while pissed. Dont give up on your research but dont be disappointed if you fail to get the desired results.

Having said all that - its a horrible prop and you should immediatly send it to me.

Regards,

Adrian.
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Old 04-08-2011, 08:51 AM   #18
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Some close ups of the hub pretty well confirm that the prop was never mounted.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg P1010384.jpg (84.2 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg P1010385.jpg (97.8 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg P1010387.jpg (96.6 KB, 5 views)
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Old 04-08-2011, 09:38 AM   #19
oinkitt
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I could tell it had not been mounted from the orignal pictures. The holes are far too crisp on the edges.

The mounting "hooks" are not really the right way to go. Thats a good picture on what NOT to do.

Still a nice prop though with a nice old finsh, I hope to get a 4 blader one day.
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Old 04-08-2011, 02:58 PM   #20
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Good Evening everyone,

It appears to be the FE8 open season. I sold the one on my website a week ago. A few days ago I found a second one. To put this remarkable fact into perspective I normally find a four bladed prop about once a year; hen's teeth sort of stuff. To find two FE8 props within a few months is unprecedented. Now another has emerged!

Simon,

I live in Yorkshire. Do you live, by chance, in North Yorkshire? If so I can come and see it and offer some advice. (Although I buy and sell WW1 props, I am more of a researcher, so my offer to help has two motives; to help you and perhaps to photograph some aspects for my research.)

Yours aye,

Bob
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Last edited by Bob Gardner; 04-08-2011 at 03:58 PM.
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