Sensenich Bros. Wooden Airplane Propeller, Circa 1930s

This is a beautiful wooden Sensenich propeller, circa 1930s. The propeller is stamped with “MODEL 98AA-64 SER. NO. D-4917 SENSENICH”. The number "D-4917" also appears on the rear of the hub. Propellers of this type were used on a variety of aircraft of the era, including the Boeing PT-13 and PT-17 "Kaydet" trainers. The propeller measures 98" long, 9" at the diameter. Given its construction and designation, it is likely this propeller was flown during WWII.

The Sensenich Propeller Company was established in 1932 to manufacture fixed-pitch wood aircraft propellers for the growing aviation market. The company started in Pennsylvania by two brothers. Their first experiments included pushing propeller-driven farm wagons down the narrow dirt roads of Lancaster County and, in the winter, strapping an engine and their wooden propeller to an ice sled, which they tethered by a hundred-foot hawser to a stout stake set in the frozen Susquehanna River. Using tools typically reserved for making wagon wheels, and encouraged by local aviators, the brothers began trialing with the graceful compound curve of a propeller. By the early 30s, the company developed a broad range of light aircraft propellers.

In 1941, the company built a large modern plant to support full-scale war production. Throughout the span of World War II, Sensenich employed 400 people and crafted more than 5,000 propellers a week. Wood was the only material the company used. Sensenich didn’t begin producing metal propellers until the late 1940s.

CONDITION: The propeller is in very good condition, with a little wear consistent with age and use. The wooden propeller has the Sensenich winged blue stamps on both sides. The tips and leading edges are sheathed in brass and painted yellow and black.

Dimensions: 13" H x 99" W x 13" D.

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