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Old 07-04-2008, 02:06 PM   #11
Bob Gardner
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Grazza,

I would be most grateful if you could send me some photographs at a high resolution.

The book is called British WW1 Propellers and is only available from us. I have many revisions to add to the book and I plan to do this in September; but you know what happens to plans. The book is on a CD in pdf format. It consists of two parts. The first is a general introduction to WW1 props; the second describes British prop makers and their products.

I'll send you a copy of the pages on Vickers when I have added the photo of your decal. You can e-mail me via the e-mail link in my profile here on this forum or visit my website (see below) where there is an e-mail link on every page. I don't want to publish it in this forum as I get enough spam as it is!

With regards,

Bob
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Old 07-04-2008, 02:37 PM   #12
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I have been researching the serie numero, 151.

Generally batches of serie numbers were issued to each maker. They were mostly unique to that maker. Levasseur's were in the range of 400-650. The number 151 is an Eclair number. (It also occurs with Regy props). But there is some interchange of data as some makers made props to other people's designs. Regy made several props under licence and all of Granville's products were. Also Eclair props were made by the British for French aircraft. Ebora made Eclair-designed props at Weybridge for the British built SPADS, also made at Weybridge.

The Eclair props with a serie number around 150-155 were for SPADS, although they had a diameter of 2500mm whereas the British made versions were 2400mm.

This does not help identify your prop but it does show that there is a thread running through all this. Vickers also had a factory at Weybridge where they made the Vickers Gunbus, the FE8, and many SE5A aircraft.

I'll continue the research. I think your prop must be experimental.

Bob
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Old 07-04-2008, 03:32 PM   #13
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I have made some progress.

The first model of the Vickers Gunbus, built in 1912, was called the Fighting Biplane. The second type was the FB2 and the first incarnation of the 'gun bus' was the FB5. I have found a photo of the Vickers Fighting Biplane from 1912 that has a scimitar shaped prop, although not as dramatically so as yours. Vickers prop drg nos begin with the letter V or VC, just in case these are lurking anywhere on the hub. I conclude that your prop might well be from an early Vickers Fighting Biplane, although the No 225 seems a little out of kilter with this. I doubt if a prototype aircraft had 225 props made for it. It might be a generic serial number, the 225th made by Levasseur, which would probably match pre-war production of props.

Do any forumites have access to the book Vickers Aircraft Since 1908 which might show the prop on an aircraft?

The next stage is to try and identify the British patent number.

Bob
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Old 07-04-2008, 04:43 PM   #14
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Haven't got to the patent number yet. I'm a novice at such things, but I have discovered that the 12 after the number indicates 1912, the year the Fighting Biplane was built.

Bob
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Old 07-04-2008, 05:12 PM   #15
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More slight progress. The 12 indicates an application made in 1912 but granted on 30 Jan 1913 for a British patent awarded to Pierre Levasseur for the improvement of a propeller.

So we have a date and the connection with Vickers. Perhaps this prop is a development of the 1912 scimitar prop on the prototype Vickers fighting Biplane.

I don't think I can discover much more.

Bob
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Old 07-05-2008, 06:31 AM   #16
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I finally got there. It is a Vickers Aircraft but not from Weybridge but from Crayford near Dartford in Kent, It pre-dates the Fighting Biplane. A series of experimental monoplanes were made, seven in all, from 1911 to 1913 when work began on the EFB, the Experimental Fighting Biplane.

The photo below shows a prop like yours on the Vickers Monoplane 6 and below that the advert also shows that Vickers-Levasseur made props. Congratulations! It is a rare and very interesting prop, probably the only surviving example.




I'm going to have a beer!

With regards,

Bob
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Old 07-05-2008, 08:01 AM   #17
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I have discovered another interesting thread. A Vickers Monoplane was used by the 1913 Australian Antarctic Expedition. Has your prop always been in Australia or was it brought from England?

Bob
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Old 07-05-2008, 08:37 AM   #18
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Great work, Bob!!
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Old 07-05-2008, 08:53 AM   #19
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Thanks Dave. It makes up for all the times you and I have got nowhere trying to identify a prop!

Bob
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Old 07-06-2008, 11:38 AM   #20
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Bob, The oral history of the prop indicates that it was brought to Australia when my elderly friend emigrated to here. I have lost contact with him but I will do a postal search and find him and try to get more details from him. Thank you both for your help. Regards, Grazza.
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