Wooden Propeller Forum  

Go Back   Wooden Propeller Forum > Wooden Propeller Identification > "Early" Wooden Propellers

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-02-2013, 03:58 AM   #1
Corey
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 12
Default Se5a

Anyone know if the SE5A prop's original finish was varnished? Or if the wood was lamenated?

The one I am looking at looks a bit heavy on the shine. And I fear it is not the original finish.

There is also some chiseling out at one end of the hub hole. Im wondering if that would have been to facilitate an instrument or clock at some point or if it was the result of use.

Hub data:
D No B 8080, 200hp Hispano Suiza 3/4 D 2514p 2850 177

Thanks for any info or opinions!
Cheers,
Corey
Corey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2013, 07:49 AM   #2
Bob Gardner
Moderator
 
Bob Gardner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: The North of England
Posts: 1,466
Default

Welcome to the forum Corey.

WW1 props were finished with a waterproof coating, generally called a lacquer which was often based on resin. Nowadays the finish will be about one hundred years old and will look old. Many have been relacquered with modern varnishes.

Early SE5 props had fabric on the tips; in early 1918 three-quarters of the blade was covered in fabric. By late 1918 blades were covered from tip to the edge of the hub. This fabric is almost always threadbare along the edges.

The drg no. of your prop is AB8080. It came into use as a standard SE5A prop in February 1918.

indicates geared reduction of 25%. So engine revs of 2000rpm would give a prop rotation of 1500rpm.

The internal surface of the central bore should be smooth. Clocks and barometers were often added post-war which almost always resulted in the crude removal of wood.

With kind regards,

Bob
__________________
Bob Gardner
Author; WW1 British Propellers, WWI German Propellers
http://www.aeroclocks.com

Last edited by Bob Gardner; 08-02-2013 at 08:40 AM.
Bob Gardner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2013, 07:51 AM   #3
Dave
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Vermont
Posts: 2,831
Default

I have yet to see an authentic aircraft propeller that wasn't laminated, and I think most of them were varnished, but as I understand it the early varnishes were shellac based. I don't think the urethanes were used until after WW1. Look carefully at the blades for "shadows" of decals if they were present, and see if the varnish coat seems to fill any acquired dents and scratches on the surface.

The chiseling found in the center bore is almost always an alteration to install a decorative device of some kind, usually a clock. It always reduces the value of the propeller considerably, IMHO.
__________________
Dave
Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2013, 09:41 AM   #4
Corey
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 12
Default

Thank you gents for the expert feedback! I will probably wave off on this specific prop then. Especially since my intent for ownship of discussed prop was to have an aviation relic and centerpiece for my love for all things historical. As an aviation background guy, I just dont think its right to put a dang clock in one!
Corey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2013, 10:01 AM   #5
Dave
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Vermont
Posts: 2,831
Default

Well intentioned but imprudent desires to "decorate" these relics (either by cutting them for things to fit into them or "refinishing" them to make them look nicer) have only had the effect of making them worth much less and conversely making the ones in original condition worth more.

We are now past the 100 year anniversary of powered flight and only about 5 years away from the 100 year anniversary of the end of WW1, so depending on your defiinition, all of the early propellers are soon to be officially called "antiques". On top of that, the characteristics of propellers from that era are generally unique to a very narrow time frame - unlike furniture, for instance, where design spanned a much longer time frame. By the early twenties, engine design had advanced so rapidly that the early propellers quickly became obsolete.

In my personal collection, I consider this one, which preceeded WW1 to be one of my favorites and probably one of my most valuable.
__________________
Dave
Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2013, 02:49 AM   #6
Corey
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 12
Default

It was indeed a truly unique and pioneering time in aviation. I would assume that a prop that was built for a specific warbird during the WWI timeline would also command a high value. In my mind, it should. In the case of your helice gallia, is there a way to derive when it was produced from the serie 22 numero 339? Im not even sure what that means.
Corey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2013, 08:22 AM   #7
Dave
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Vermont
Posts: 2,831
Default

With French manufactured props "Serie" refers to the design (or blueprint) and may be present on a number of identical propellers. "Numero" refers to a production number (a "serial number", if you will) and I believe that number would continue across different models, i.e. if the next propeller made was a different model number, the "numero" would still be the next number in sequence.

I don't have information to correlate that to a specific date. Experts like pmdec and Bob Gardner have manufacturing information from their research than can often be very helpful.
__________________
Dave
Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2013, 03:24 AM   #8
Corey
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 12
Default

Thanks Dave. In my opinion, any warbird prop that can be documented to at least coming into service during the war is a winner in my book. While I dont know if it helps out the collectors value, it just helps the cool factor. I suppose the inspection stamps also provide substantial weight to the props intended operational use. Not much logic in passing the prop through QA if it is never going to see action.

Back on topic of the SE5A, as an experienced collector, how would you de-value a SE5A should you encounter one that has clock mounting chiseling in the hub and a re-laquered paint job? Overall condition I would say is decent, with a healthy share of nicks, dings, and bruises, and no longer in possession of any fabric. I would think that a SE5A with the aforementioned discrepancies would only command maybe 50% of the value the $4200 version sold from this site.
Corey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2013, 07:01 AM   #9
Dave
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Vermont
Posts: 2,831
Default

I have trouble establishing a value on a prop that's been altered for a clock and refinished, because to me it's nearly "worthless" in that condition. I say that because I just wouldn't seek to add one to a collection. But as to "market value" of one like that compared to one in original and fairly pristine condition I'd say that it's even less than 50% and maybe more like 20% to 30%.

It's interesting to watch some props on eBay. A few of them spend month after month without a single bid, usually because the owner sees what a similar type has sold for but doesn't take into account the extreme difference in condition.

Perhaps Bob or Pierre-Michel can chime in with a better grasp of a valuation number, but that's my take on it.
__________________
Dave
Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2013, 12:53 PM   #10
Bob Gardner
Moderator
 
Bob Gardner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: The North of England
Posts: 1,466
Default

Hello chaps,

It is difficult to give any ground rules for early prop prices. The market is still naive so prices can vary considerably from place to place. The crucial factor is condition. The best prop is one in excellent undamaged original condition, where the wood has a pleasing patina, the fabric is still in place and only slightly threadbare, the maker's decal is clear and undamaged and the data on the hub is clearly stamped and not marred by incautious handling. Fighter props (Scouts in the language of the time) are the most sought but recce props, bomber props and trainer props are not far behind in value. Again, condition is everything.

A prop which is damaged often sells for about one tenth of the value of its undamaged equivalent. So, props with crudely cut holes for clocks or with blades that have been shortened or props with a nice new shiny coat of a modern polyurethane varnish command very small prices.

It is generally thought that the price of WW1 props will increase considerably with the centenary of WW1 from 2014 to 2019. And also bear in mind that any prop made up to 1918 will have been made within ten years of the advent of proper flight, by which I mean an aircraft which could take off under its own power, fly in any direction at will and return to land at the point from where it took off.

Almost all props sell at auction where prices can vary for reasons unconnected with the prop on sale. I have seen two people, each determined to buy a prop, chase up the price of an ordinary prop worth about 1000 GBP ($1500 USD, 870 EU) to 3500 GBP.

Similarly a very ordinary Tiger Moth prop from WW2 sold for an enormous amount. When I later raised an eyebrow at the auctioneer he explained that two sides of a family were not on speaking terms and both were determined that the other side would not buy their deceased grandfather's war time souvenir.

So, if you are thinking about buying a prop on eBay or at a conventional auction, do your homework first.

With kind regards,

Bob
__________________
Bob Gardner
Author; WW1 British Propellers, WWI German Propellers
http://www.aeroclocks.com
Bob Gardner is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:58 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9 Beta 3
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.