Aircraft and wooden propeller were inseparable in the past. Nowadays it is not so obvious, due to the fact that the contemporary propeller is not wooden any more. A propeller is a precious piece of memorabilia, often like a heirloom and sometimes the only part of aircraft that survived. So important because it is stamped by history (bullet holes, notches, scratches or signs of repairs). Old wooden propellers are simply wooden sculptures. Each and everyone is different because they were handmade. Unpainted one reveal beautiful grains of different kinds of wood, all glued together to form the final shape. In pre-war Poland the words propeller and “Szomański” became almost synonym. The reason was simple, most of propellers were made by single manufacturer. Unfortunately in most cases “producer: Szomański” is the only information about propeller we can find in history book. Our goal is to find propellers (mostly Polish but also others) which survived in museums and in private hands, photographs and pictures of propellers and planes with them fitted. We aim going to find documents describing the propeller production and technical requirements the propellers have to fulfil. We are interested in everything concerning propellers. We do hope, that those of you keen on this matter, will be able to find something interesting, and those whose propeller knowledge is small will be able to extend it. We also like your help in our research.
Marshall - Fahlin
If your propeller really needs to be repaired (fabric is hanging off or there are splits in the wood) find an expert who can carefully conserve the prop.
IF you want to sell your propeller:
If you are an owner of a propeller and you want to sell it – first of all do not rush. Your propeller can be of much more – or less – worth comparing to what you expect. Not only in cash but also in terms of historic relation with the place it survived. Consult this step with anyone you trust.
Beware of traffickers who’s only goal is making the money on quick reselling. It will make impossible to trace the propeller history for the next buyer.
Renovated propeller of UT-2 aircraft in Aviation Technical High School in Warsaw, Gładka 16 Street. Painting and numbers do not reflect realistic propeller livery, hovewer propeller structer and shape are nicely preserved (photo M. Peikert 2016).
Propeller of BENZ FX aero engine, 105 HP (77 kW). Mercedes Museum, Stuttgart (entry 2022). The propeller has pressed name WOLF as indicated producer, however likely being replica. Pitch is indicated as H=110, diameter D=250(?). The FX was the first aero engine...
Propeller of Mercedes D III engine, 170 HP (125 kW). Mercedes Museum, Stuttgart (entry 2022). Producer of the propeller is unknown, may be replica as well. Propeller has markings, indicated power is 160 HP. Mercedes DIII and subsequent DIIIa recorded the highest...