Whats (Watts?!) this prop likely from???

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SplitRz

Senior Airman
367
584
Feb 6, 2021
This prop may be having some resto to it - but in the meantime I'm trying to discover what aircraft it might be from.

1. Its located in the South West of the UK
2. Its *reputed* to have come from a ' late interwar fighter aircraft' (ie 30s). It is of wooden laminated construction. It has multiple layers of paint, most of it clearly added in recent years.
3. And this is important, because it seems to distinguish it from the only other info on Watts 2 blade props I've been able to find, its 90" from tip to tip (Most Hawker aircraft with a two blade Watts type prop seem to have been around 110" as far as I've been able to glean so far)
4. I'm presuming the spinner is a later faux adornment put on for show (its only attached to the main prop by two woodscrews)
5. There is a small plaque covered in thick black paint which has an non legible code and '1940' stamped on it. I may get a chance to clean this off and provide a proper record of this in time
6. Please excuse the really ropey intial pictures. I've had to crudely crop some details out for the sake of privacy. If I can find someone with better IT skills than mine, I shall get some better images in time

I'd also like any input from anyone regarding the best and safest way to strip off the old paint

Thanks for any time or help!

prop1a.jpg
Prop2.jpg
 
It would be nice to see the picture of the prop with its general view in oorder to see the shape of the prop blade .
Yes - these are quick snaps - I'll have to add this as soon as I can get access to it again. Gimme five and I *might* be able to get a very rough picture!
[edit. alas not tonight - but watch this space]
 
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And
3. And this is important, because it seems to distinguish it from the only other info on Watts 2 blade props I've been able to find, its 90" from tip to tip (Most Hawker aircraft with a two blade Watts type prop seem to have been around 110" as far as I've been able to glean so far)

You are right the Hurricane and Spitfire wooden props were of slightly over 11' in the diameter. However there were othr planes for instance ...
Hind had prop of 10' 10", Hector 10' 9", Hardy 10' 4"/ 10' 6.5", Osprey 10' 6", Hart 10' 4", Fury 1, 10' 6" and Nimrod II, 10'-9".
If your prop hasn't been shortened for some reason, it might indicate an aircraft with an engine of less power.
 
And

You are right the Hurricane and Spitfire wooden props were of slightly over 11' in the diameter. However there were othr planes for instance ...
Hind had prop of 10' 10", Hector 10' 9", Hardy 10' 4"/ 10' 6.5", Osprey 10' 6", Hart 10' 4", Fury 1, 10' 6" and Nimrod II, 10'-9".
If your prop hasn't been shortened for some reason, it might indicate an aircraft with an engine of less power.
Yes, that echoes what I've been able to find so far. Nothing to date in the 90" range however. Overall, it closely mimics the shape of the props used on those aircraft.
 
It would be nice to see the picture of the prop with its general view in order to have a look at the shape of the prop blade .
Wurger and ThomasP - here are some better pix, hot from the presses -

dafullting.jpg
nameplate.jpg
 
My money is it being from and airspeed oxford - the dimensions are right, as it the paint scheme - and even that plate seems to match. Here's a picture from an aeronautical sales site. Does this tick all the boxes from you guys perspective?

Oxford Prop
 
Or is an Anson still a contender - and is their anyway to be definitive...?
 
I agree it looks like the Oxford prop. If it is 15" wide measured at the wider side of the hub it may be of the plane.
 
PS .. there should be another data plaque on the another site of the hub with the DRG number and name of the engine it was for. Is there?
 
PS .. there should be another data plaque on the another site of the hub with the DRG number and name of the engine it was for. Is there?
No plaque in the other side of the hub unless its buried under the paint. I'll see if I can get the hub measurements!

Brilliants help chaps. Theres a story to all of this and I'll let you know more when the cat is finally out the bag - I'd like to give you both a name and a mention for your help if things come to pass!
 
There were several types of props used on the Oxford and Anson.

The Watts wood 2-blade props that I have run across on the Oxford were Ø88" or D.7.33 P.6.96 (the 7.33 is in feet, so 7.33 x 12 = 88"). But I cannot say that props of Ø90" were not also used.

Possibly MiTasol MiTasol could help.
 
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The name plate on the side of the hub could be for balance purposes. It is an acceptable technic to install a weight to hub to correct vertical propeller balance. The date on the plate could be the date that the propeller was balanced. If it is just for identification, then there should another plate opposite this one for balance purposes.
 
The name plate on the side of the hub could be for balance purposes. It is an acceptable technic to install a weight to hub to correct vertical propeller balance. The date on the plate could be the date that the propeller was balanced. If it is just for identification, then there should another plate opposite this one for balance purposes.
No, no plate the other side. I'm guesing the two 'blobs' may be zinc of lead for balancing purposes in that case
 
I agree it looks like the Oxford prop. If it is 15" wide measured at the wider side of the hub it may be of the plane.
It is indeed 15" wide at the broadest part of the hub. The only possible anomaly is that ThomasP says that Oxford props were usually 90" in span.

I'm guessing that unless wee can find some branded lettering or etching on the woodwork giving us more info, further definitive ID may be difficult?
 
The DRG number would be helpful and could id the aircraft type. But any farther info on the particular plane is not available usually.
 
It is quite likely that this prop could be used on more than one aircraft type (so, Oxford AND Anson?). There's nothing to say (necessarily) that a particular prop is definitively for one type of aircraft- unless it happens that it IS. Note also that it is left-hand rotation, so definitely not for a Merlin.
 
It is quite likely that this prop could be used on more than one aircraft type (so, Oxford AND Anson?). There's nothing to say (necessarily) that a particular prop is definitively for one type of aircraft- unless it happens that it IS. Note also that it is left-hand rotation, so definitely not for a Merlin.
And thats what I'm trying to establish tbh. In in this case, its likely. 90" diameter is pretty specific and unique for a watts type two blader. It completely rules it out as a prop for a number of aircraft - especially any with a Merlin (regardless of pitch orientation). Study pictures of Ansons manufactured in Canada and you'll also see that their props have brass sheathed leading edges (which this doesn't have) - and later marks also have spinners. Oxfords don;t ever seem to have had any. Many Oxfords had Fairey-Reed metal props. So there are LOTS of clues and indications of likelihood, if you can find someone with the knowledge to work things out by a process of elimination. Its that which has allowed me to get this far with the help of others. If I can unearth some more clues, its still entirely possible that I'll get a definitive answer. I'm hoping to find more hints under the paint,
 

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