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Part 41: Propeller blade

41Propeller blade 19091979440

The parts

Loading picture Blades One of the first specialised Meccano parts, the propeller blades can't be used for much other than their obvious application. The early propeller blades can be straightened and used in other areas, but the formed shape of the later type of blades is pretty much fixed.

EMP ignores the pea-red single-hole part 41, and mentions a two-hole nickel part from 1923. These were probably to special order only.

Chronological variations

The early blades were introduced in 1909, in outfits 5 and 6 (the largest at the time). In 1926, they were painted pea-red (along with the "New Meccano" parts), and in 1927 gained a second hole and changed to dark red.

The second and much more common design of part 41 remained all the way through UK production, although later versions are rare as they were dropped from outfits in 1954 (previously they had been supplied in both outfits 9 and 10). Light red and later varieties were therefore only supplied as spare parts, but no manual models used them and therefore they would have rarely been needed.

The first of the type 2 shaped blades (in dark red) are found both left- and right-handed. I believe it can be assumed that the unusual left-handed versions came first, and the much more common right-hand variety soon replaced it and continued through all other colour schemes.

Of course, even after the advent of dark red/green Meccano one could still order nickel-plated parts from the Meccano factory. The propeller blade is one of those parts that changed just after the start of coloured Meccano, so the type 2 blade in nickel (type .ni2 below) would only have been available by special order and as such is a very rare part. The type 1 blade with two holes in nickel finish (normally only available in dark red) also exists, but to special order only.

Hearsay from an ex-Airfix Director via a third party:

The Yellow #41 with the black tip was introduced first and changed to black with yellow tip when someone (a member of the public, it is thought) pointed out yellow tip blades were standard aircraft practice at that time.

The date of the change I do not know. Roland Jaggard

All-yellow propellor blades
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Loading picture Yellowprops

Variations and oddities

Apart from the left-handed and right-handed varieties, one obviously strange combination is this pair of all-yellow blades (apologies for the unclear picture). These appear to be late 60's yellow blades that should have had a black tip, but have been 'freed' from Binns Road before they had their second paint colour added.
Mid red (left) and light red (right) propeller blades
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Loading picture Bladesspareparts

Dealer spare parts boxes

To the left in the photo above, post-war medium red/green propeller blades in brown paper. To the right, the light green label on the yellow box identifies the parts as being light red/green, from 1958 to 1963. After the blades were dropped from all outfits, blades such as these light red ones with a light green tip would only have been available as spare parts.

Individual part numbers

Part numbers for the parts on this page are as follows:    Unique part numbers
For identification, each variation has been given a suffix to the main Meccano part number. These suffixes consist of a two-character code for the colour, and if there are many variations, a further number and sometimes letter code to identify each variation. See the bottom of the 'Parts' page for further details.

You don't need to worry what the codes are, just click on any one for a photograph.

The button above turns on and off the display of DMS numbers (where they are known). The DMS (Development of the Meccano System, Hauton and Hindemarsh) published in 1972 and added to in 75 and 82, suggested part numbers for every variation of every Meccano part. These numbers aren't perfect, but they are recognised and also referenced in the EMP (Encyclopedia of Meccano Parts, Don Blakeborough).

More about bosses More about stampings More about paint colours
Nickel plated 3¼'' x 1½''09.ni
Blackened steel 3¼'' x 1½'' †15?.bs
Early red (pea-red), 3¼'' x 1½'', one hole26.re
Early red (pea-red), 3¼'' x 1½'', two holes??.re1
Nickel plated, 3¼'' x 1½'', two holes (special order) †26-41.ni3
Dark red 3¼'' x 1½'', two holes27.dr
Nickel 3½'' x 1'' (approx), left-handed (special order only)27?.ni2a
Nickel 3½'' x 1'' (approx), right-handed (special order only)27?.ni2
Dark red 3½'' x 1'' (approx), left-handed27.dr1
Dark red 3½'' x 1'' (approx), right-handed27?.dr2
Dark red with dark green tip33?.dr3
Gold with dark blue tip34.go
Medium red with medium green tip, pre-war stamping34.mr1
Medium red with medium green tip49.mr
Light red with light green tip58.lr
Yellow with black tip64.ye
Black with yellow tip60s?.bk

Please send us pictures of missing parts! Hints and tips for pictures
Take a picture of the part in very good light, preferably on a plain yellow background, without a flash but with a tripod.
Ideally, trim the picture to about 150 pixels per inch of the Meccano part (unless the part is particularly big or small), save it as a reasonably good quality jpg file with a filename of exactly the part number, for example 19b.ni1.jpg, and email it to us by clicking on 'Contact us' at the top of the page. Thanks!

Further information

Total number of messages on this page: 9.  This is page 2 of 2.   Previous

Roger Dewey      (at 9:38am, Tue 14th Oct, 08)

Correction. Sorry, the bosses are double tapped.

Roger Dewey      (at 9:24am, Tue 14th Oct, 08)

I've recently aquired a 'junk' load of meccano most stamped with MFEA in a box with French rail tickets and notes written in French. Many parts are from the Mid 20's. There are no 'modern' parts as far as I know. However, there are 2 double propeller blades, (One smaller than the other). The bosses are single tapped. Both in silver with blue tip, stamped 'Meccano'. They are made opposite handed to each other. Any thoughts? Photo's could be supplied if required.

Reply: No doubt that they are Aeroplane Constructor parts, either P34 or P35 (the smaller one). We'll have a look at these special parts when we're done with the standard Meccano parts. Look in the Photo Gallery for a manual for the 1931 Aeroplane kits.

Keith Burston      (at 4:40am, Fri 22nd Aug, 08)

I recently acquired four blades of the earliest broad form, with a single hole in nickel plate, presumably from 1909 to 1915. However, while eitherwise identical, two are stamped "Meccano" and two are stamped "Fabrique en Angleterre" and "Meccano", which would seem to indicate 1921 onwards. I assume this was a special order in nickel between 21 and 26. Any thoughts?

Reply: No, the 41.bs shown above is marked with a cross as a temporary finish -- either during 1911 or 1915 depending on who you believe. The standard broad nickel blade continued right through to 1926, so you will find many of them stamped MFEA.

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