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Hawker Hurricane Relic?

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  • Hawker Hurricane Relic?

    Aviation friends, I have both an aviation and a family mystery I need some help solving. Last week a long time aviation friend gave me a family heirloom that was passed down from his Uncle Mr. Reginald (Reg) Hogbin. Reg joined Hawker Engineering in the early 1920’s as an apprentice. He remained with Hawker until 1955. In 1935 Reg was a crew chief on the prototype Hurricane K5083 for its first flight. The airplane and its stable mates were fitted with 2 blade Watts (Airscrew) Propellers with a tapered plywood spinner attached.

    Somewhere along the way Reg salvaged a shattered wooden propeller after a ground strike incident. He fashioned the remains into a flower pot holder for his wife complete with handles carved from the remains of the blades. Family lore suggests this pot was made from a propeller from one of the Hurricane prototypes.

    The relic remained in his home until his death in the 1980s when it was given to his nephew, my friend Angus. All was well until Angus’ new wife decided it was hideous and asked him to find it a new home..mine! Thankfully my wife loves it and wants to put a plant back in it!

    I would like to confirm what it is really from. There is no doubt it is about the right size for a big engine but photos I have found suggest the Merlin propellers had a 10 or 12 bolt hub adapter. This one has 8 X 5/8 bolt holes on an 8” circle. I do see evidence of the wood spinner (nail holes and a shadow of the aft ring). It is 8 inches tall X 10” across the hub and is made from 9 plies of laminate each about 7/8 thick. The markings on the aft side are hard to make out but it looks like REV I S?

    Any ideas what this is off of? Hurricane or Gladiator or…
    Attached Files

  • #2
    I have no idea what it's from, nor do I have a good idea of what other steps could be taken to find out, but I'm also not sure what knowing its origin would accomplish. It's not likely to increase its value to any real extent (unlike it might do with an intact, full sized propeller). I think it's fair to say that its current value is pretty well limited to "a flower pot that's made from an old WW2 era propeller".

    I will say that it was not unusual for a worker in an aircraft facility to acquire an artifact from something that was not related to the aircraft type that he was associated with. I know it would be nice to fill in the details of its use and the family connection, but I'm always a bit skeptical about how feasible that is to accomplish.


    • #3
      Definitely not Watts for a Hurricane or Spitfire. They are 12 holes. Photos are for a Watts Hurricane and a Watts Spitfire.
      Attached Files


      • #4
        The remains of the bolt holes seems parallel to the outside of the hub which seems tapered. Perhaps from pic distorsion, but if true, I never saw a hub with "tilted" bolt holes...


        • #5
          The hub of a Watt propeller has a fairing that is fashioned to it and screwed in place on ribs. This gives the outward appearance of a taper and integrates into the spinner which is fixed onto the front. See the Hurricane photo below; the spinner and the fairing form one streamlined nose. The hub is parallel and the 12 bolts parallel.
          Attached Files