First World War fighter plane propeller could be yours – designed by aviation pioneer de Havilland

Posted on 02/07/2019 in Press Coverage

A huge wooden propeller designed by an English aviation pioneer for a First World War fighter plane is coming up for auction.

The 9ft long, First World War British Airco DH.1 wooden propeller was designed by Sir Geoffrey de Havilland for a two-seater DH1 fighter/bomber biplane.

The piece of aviation history will be sold in Hansons Auctioneers summer Fine Arts Auction at Bishton Hall, Wolseley Bridge, Staffordshire, on Monday, July 8 and has an estimate of £8,000-£10,000.

Sir Geoffrey de Havilland, who lived from 1882 to 1965, was an English aviation pioneer and aerospace engineer.

He devoted the majority of life to aviation design. His Mosquito is considered to be the most versatile warplane ever built and his Comet was the first jet airliner to go into production.

The Airco DH.1 was an early military flown by Britain’s Royal Flying Corps during the First World War. By the time the powerplant for which it was designed was sufficiently plentiful, it was obsolete as an operational aircraft and, apart from a few examples sent to the Middle East, it served as a trainer and Home Defence fighter

The propeller up for auction was a pusher type fitted to the rear of the cockpit and measures 9 ft and 1/8th inch. Number B26290, it was designed for the 120 Horsepower Beardmore engine.

The DH.1 first saw operational service in the Middle East in 1916. It’s known action was in March 1917 and it was withdrawn from service in 1918.

Rik Alexander, auctioneer at Hansons, said: “For anyone interested in military or aviation history, this is an incredible object to own, and is sure to put bidders in a spin. It could also appeal to people as a major interior design piece. There can’t be many people who can say they’ve got a First World War fighter plane propeller in their lounge.”

The propeller, lot 4473,will be sold on July 8 at Hansons’ Summer Fine Art Auction, which is being held at Bishton Hall, Wolseley Bridge, Staffordshire, ST17 0XN.