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Old 07-21-2011, 08:42 AM   #1
dharding
 
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Hi Folks
Just read this article in my local newspaper.

http://www.thisisstaffordshire.co.uk...ail/story.html

To me, it looks more like a WW1 prop than something they would have used in the 30's. Tell me what you think?
Cheers
Dom
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Old 07-23-2011, 08:10 AM   #2
Bob Gardner
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Morning Dom,

I don't think it is from a Spitfire. It is too slender. I restored the only known fixed pitch Spitfire prop a few years ago. It was much larger with wider blades and has a huge streamline fairing around the hub. It was designed by HC Watts of the Airscrew Company whose designs are very distinctive.

This one appears to be of WW1 construction and seems to conform to the design of Lucien Chauviere; the straight trailing edge. If you can discover from the museum any of the data on the hub, particularly the drawing number I will probably be able to identify it.

The thought of the museum giving it TLC is ominous. It is a valuable antique and needs to be conserved rather than painted with a modern lacquer.

With kind regards,

Bob
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Old 07-25-2011, 04:18 PM   #3
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Hi Bob
Thanks for your reply. I requested the info and had the following reply.


'Hi Dominic,

Thank you for contacting the museum about the Mitchell propeller.

The propeller has 2 blades and the total length measures approx. 2640 mm (104 inches) - which I know makes it probably too short for a Spitfire. It is constructed entirely of wood and is comparatively lightweight for its size. The most notable feature is that a number - 73 - is stamped onto the front of it. The information stamped around the hub is very difficult to read but may include the following:

B Y

AD 81

110 HP OHE

The attached pictures might help, despite them being of fairly poor quality.


Any suggestions as to its origin would be gratefully received - one suggestion so far is that it might perhaps have been fitted to a wooden mock-up of one of the Schneider aircraft? I would be happy to show you the propeller in store if you wish - please contact me with suitable dates.

Please reassure Bob Gardner that we will not be sanding or lacquering the propeller - the TLC is treating it to some much needed Renaissance wax* as it has been in the entrance hall of the school since 1989.

Regards

Don'

Do we think AD81 - is the drawing no - Air Dept, Admiralty?
I guess the '110HP OHE' is probably 110HP LE RHONE or 110HP GNOME
You probably know better than me.
I've attached some of the photos, the one of interest (hub) is proving a bit difficult to reduce and still make anything out.

If you need any more info, Don has invited me to go and look at it.
Thanks
Dom
Attached Images
File Type: jpg mitchell20101001 018.jpg (23.3 KB, 12 views)
File Type: jpg propeller 003.jpg (72.0 KB, 5 views)
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Old 07-25-2011, 10:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dharding View Post

Do we think AD81 - is the drawing no - Air Dept, Admiralty?
I guess the '110HP OHE' is probably 110HP LE RHONE or 110HP GNOME
You probably know better than me.
I've attached some of the photos, the one of interest (hub) is proving a bit difficult to reduce and still make anything out.

Dom
If you want to send me a full size photo of the hub I can fractionate the stampings images down for posting here. Use dbahnson at gmail.com.
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Old 07-26-2011, 06:03 AM   #5
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Well done Dom!

It is not from either a Spitfire or a Schneider Trophy aircraft, nor from the 1920's or 30's. It's WW1 both in construction and in the presentation of the data.

For info, the Spitfire fixed pitch prop was 10.67 feet in length. This prop is 8ft 8ins, 2ft shorter.

I haven't got anywhere definitive on the data yet. We need some good photographs. AD suggests a RNAS drawing number, where AD indicates the Air Dept of the Admiralty, as you say. But the Royal Navy didn't use Le Rhone engines except in a very few instances. Mostly Gnome and Clerget.

I'm off to do a search on the diameter, which might give us the answer.

With kind regards,

Bob
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Old 07-26-2011, 06:15 AM   #6
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Mmm!

There seem to be two possibilities.

Statistically it is likely to be from a Sopwith One-and-a-half-Strutter.
Diameter is 2640mm, Clerget 110hp engine, drg no AD555, where perhaps a '5' has been read as '8.' This seems a strong possibilty.

However, the Sopwith Baby would match the letters BY. It had D2650 and a Gnome 100hp Monosoupape. Drg No LP690. This is less convincing other than the 'baby' bit.

The Strutter prop AD555 was also used on the Avro 504.

We need your photographs to proceed.

Bob
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Old 07-26-2011, 09:00 AM   #7
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Hi Bob
I've sent Dave the photo. I'm going to see if I can arrange to take some more.
On a different line of thought, and this could be a complete red herring, there appears to be strong links between RJ Mitchell and the Air Dept. of the Admiralty. From 1916 upto the end of the war it appears that Mitchell was heavily involved in the re-design of the Air Dept. Seaplanes. I'm not sure what engines they were using but it might be a line of enquiry.
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Dom
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Old 07-26-2011, 01:34 PM   #8
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I got the photo, but the problem is the lighting, as the glare obscures the details of the stamping. I can reduce the file size, etc., but unless you can get a better photo to show the stampings it probably won't be of much value.

Options include "wetting" with turpentine and/or adjusting the set up so that the light strikes much more from the side. You might have to experiment with both of those.

Also, a polarizing filter on the camera can help reduce glare and bring out detail as well.
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Old 07-26-2011, 01:56 PM   #9
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Dom,

RJ Mitchell became the assistant in 1917 to Hubert Scott-Paine who owned the Supermarine Co. At this time it was very much a second-rate organisation, only just escaping bancruptcy. By 1918, Mitchell was the assistant works manager. In 1919 he became the designer and in the 1920's designed a series of successful flying boats that led to the design of the Supermarine sea-planes used in the Schneider trophy. I don't think he did any work on Royal Navy aircraft. By mid-1918 the RNAS no longer existed and had been incorporated with the RFC into the RAF.

I should add that the histories that come with propellers are frequently wrong, even though their owners devoutly believe them to be true. One reason for this is that until Dave Bahnson and Lamar set up this forum (at their own expense) there was no way of making enquiries about a prop.

Bob
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Old 07-26-2011, 03:11 PM   #10
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Hi Bob
Yes you are probably right however the following links tend to suggest that Mitchell may have worked on the Navy planes

http://flyingmachines.ru/Site2/Crafts/Craft25603.htm
http://britishaviation-ptp.com/id70.html

Regards
Dom

P.S. I'm going visiting the Museum on Friday and I hope to take some photos.
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