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Old 08-22-2013, 12:29 PM   #1
MartyF
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 8
Default Helice Mercure Paris

Can you help me identifying this propellor?
It has a round decal on each of the two blades showing the God 'Mercury' in Gold on a red background surrounded by a blue border with the words 'HELICE MERCURE PARIS'.
The blade is 90" long and made of laminated wood with a central boss surrounded by 8 bolt holes.
The only other marking looks like 'AP16' and '182' stamped near the boss.
Anybody know its origins?
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File Type: jpg P1000154.jpg (67.3 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg P1000155.jpg (72.4 KB, 20 views)
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Old 08-22-2013, 08:35 PM   #2
pmdec
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: France
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Hi,

Hélice Mercure is a relatively well known propeller maker. He was in activity between 1912 and 1920. Yours seems to be a 6-bolts hub modified in 8-bolts hub.
For more information you have to :
- give precise measurement of prop overall length, blade width, hub thickness (not width), size of the central hole and size of the circle who pass by the center of bolt holes,
- post clear and large pictures of 4 sides of the hub (two rounded and two flat sides). As pictures size is limited on the forum and the faint markings have to be viewed on largest size available, you can send me pictures by mail at :


Regards,
PM
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Old 08-23-2013, 09:11 AM   #3
MartyF
 
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Default Sending e-mail

Hi PM
Many thanks for your response.
As requested, I will e-mail you with more photos as well as a document showing all the sizes.
MartyF
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Old 08-24-2013, 07:25 AM   #4
pmdec
 
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Hi,

I received clear and large pictures which confirm I am in a very intriguing situation with this one:
- decals are the first ones used on Mercure propellers between 1912 and 1921, so probably before 1918. They seems original BUT they are placed the wrong way on the blades (turned 90°).
- markings look like Ratmanoff ones (A° 16 182, which is serial A° number 16 and prop number 182) and known Mercure have their markings on the side of the hub,
- shape also very closed of Ratmanoff, and known Mercure with blades aligned and with a width enlargment at about 4/5 of the blade.

So, I am waiting for exactly face and front pictures for a better view of the shape.

Anyway, a very interesting prop, probably from the 1913-1915 era.

Regards,
PM
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Old 08-27-2013, 06:38 PM   #5
pmdec
 
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Hi,

Ratmanoff vs Mercure. A 1912/1913 Ratmanoff (extrados/intrados) above a 1917 Mercure (extrados/intrados). Both for ~ 100HP engines. Late 10's Ratmanoff had the same shape, but the shape of pre-WW1 Mercure is not known (to my knowledge).

Regards,
PM
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Old 08-29-2013, 08:09 AM   #6
MartyF
 
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Default Not Ratmanoff

The ends of my propeller are certainly not 'squared', so I would say it is not a Ratmanoff.
I will get some decent photos as soon as I can to show you a full view front and back. (Rather busy at the moment).
Regards
Colin
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Old 09-02-2013, 05:15 PM   #7
MartyF
 
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Default Final head-on shots

PM
Here is the best I can do to show the front and back head-on.
You can see that they have suffered a little damage at the tips, but were never square ended as in the Ratmanofs.
One final measurement was the logos which are 60m diameter.
Anybody else know the year of manufacture exactly?
MartyF

PS
After a little research, I am told that this prop was originally in a school museum in central England which of course gives no clue as to its origin or why a French propeller ended up there!
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File Type: jpg P1000327.jpg (99.2 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg P1000328.jpg (98.2 KB, 11 views)
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Old 09-03-2013, 10:38 PM   #8
pmdec
 
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Hi,

Not strictly squared but close, anyway. And geometry of blades (leading edges alignment AND how the extrados tips are "rounded") are the same as Ratmanoffs.
Add the serial numbering pattern, and you have an early Normale propeller: even the fonts are the same (look at the 1, the 2 and the 6).

For me, it is a very early 6 bolts Ratmanoff which have been
- lightly sanded (markings are not gone but have became "light"),
- modified to 8 bolts,
- with "tappering" of the central hole to fit a more recent metallic hub.

Perhaps theese modifications have been made in Mercure workshop? In those times (before WW1) there was no airworthy inspection for civil use.

In each of the pictures below there is a Ratmanoff (a serial KU from our collection) and your "Mercure"? Did you see big differences? I know this is not the scientific way (no visible difference >>> same thing is not a pertinent statement, because only differences can be proved) but in the relative small word of pre WW1 propellers, I do think it the beginning of a proof

Infortunately, the length of Ratmanoff serial Aº is not known. Serial A 3 et A 5 were 2,40 meters, serial A 6 and A 8 were 2,50 meters [all those digit in exposant place, but I don't know how to make this in forum text]. So, 2,30 meters (as yours) for serial Aº could be rational.

Regards,
PM

French propellers of WW1 and pre-WW1 era are found everywhere. Not a clue.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg TipCompare.jpg (52.9 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg HubSideCompare.jpg (60.4 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg FontCompare.jpg (31.4 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg SixHolesPattern.jpg (69.1 KB, 9 views)
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Old 09-06-2013, 07:59 AM   #9
MartyF
 
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Default Conclusion

Hi PM
Many thanks for your comparisons. I guess we can make no further progress with identification.
There are just a couple of things which are bugging me:
1. Which came first the 8 or the 6 hole hub modification?
2. I notice elsewhere in the forum (under Abbreviations) that the prefix AP (mine is AP16) refers to Aeromarine Plane & Motor Co in 1918. Does this refer to the U.S.A. only?
3. You refer to your collection (museum?) in France. Where exactly are you.
(I happen to be driving through France next week, though I am going to the South East and I think you are in the South West.)
Colin
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Old 09-06-2013, 08:02 AM   #10
Dave
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Default

"AP" is almost certainly applicable to some US propellers only, and even there AP may appear for a different reason and not refer to that company.
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