RG …Sort of strange question, um I know that you used to uh operate a fleet of uh Neptune um fire bombers

ONAS Uh huh

RG …and um I know that you don’t operate them anymore but, um, I’m wondering if there’s some— if, if you’d be able to give me some more information about the, uh, technical specs of the, uh, propellers on that particular aircraft.

ONAS OK let me put you on a brief hold, OK?

RG OK thanks.

FHV Because of the personal attention we give every caller you may experience a brief delay. Please remain on the line and a representative will be with you momentarily.

ONAS OK and you’re looking at propeller specs on, uh, the Neptune P2V?

RG Yeah um, uh, I’ll explain. I uh, um, I think I might have a blade from a P2, but I don’t know for sure, it’s just— I mean this is like, uh, completely circumstantial assumption I’ve made looking at a lot of photographs of different uh aircraft from that era around uh of the sa— of the size that the— that would accommodate the particular propeller blade that I have and um I’m, I’m a visual artist and I’m sort of trying to trace the history of this particular object uh, you know, because, um, it’s interesting because it, it— it’s interesting because it would have been manufactured for some big military application and now it’s just like a piece of furniture in my house and um—

ONAS OK yeah, let me let me transfer you over to see if I can get ahold of our shop manager, he would know on that side—

RG OK sure.


RG Thank you.

MHV We appreciate your patience while waiting and assure you that assistance is just a moment away. Your call is very important to us and we look forward to speaking to you.

KL Ken

RG Hi, um, my name’s Raphael Griswold, I uh— I don’t know if the person at the at the front told you why I was calling, uh—

KL Yeah about a P2 blade.

RG Yeah a P2 blade.

KL Or, uh, or potentially a P2 blade, huh, huh.

RG Potentially yeah, I have this— I mean it’s, I’ve started making phone calls because I, I just really couldn’t find any way other than just asking people or, you know, how to go about identifying this thing—

KL Mhm

RG —and, um, I, I might be making, you know, I’m, I’m— I might be making like a really, you know, huge assumption about where it came from aussu— thinking that it’s, eh, uh, it’s from a P2, um, but it looks like it, but I mean I don’t know how much that means—

KL Eh, huh huuuuh, yeah I understand.

RG So you know, um, the last person that I spoke to about this directly was the— I was— I, I emailed with the MAAM because they have a P2V-7 that they used to fly—

KL Yeah

RG I don’t know if it’s still airworthy but that, you know, I sent them a picture of this pro— propeller blade including a close up of these random numbers that are written on it and stuff and, um, you know, asked them if they thought it was from a P2, and they said ‘Yeah it looks like it for sure but I can’t be more specific than just saying yes I think so—’

KL So is the is the blade out to where the bearing races and everything are exposed?

RG Yeah it’s just, you know, it’s the— it’s— it still has the rubber, um, housing on the lower end of the blade but—

KL Yeah that’s that’s the cuff and the heater and then there’s a um—

RG There’s like a threaded piece that go— would, would have been for feathering right? Um, that goes into the actual, uh, ah, shaft of the motor I assume. Yeah I don’t know, haa, haa, ha. I don’t know anything about this…

KL The blade it— the blade itself should— the bottom section, iih, should have a bunch of grooves in it for the ball bearings—

RG Yeah

KL —and the only, the only screw on part there which is called— it’s a blade nut which— it’s, it’s an aluminum piece that threads on that holds the seals into it. That’s the only screw on piece there and there’s, um— Basically I’m a guy who knows quite a bit about those blades so—

RG Yeah

KL —um if you wanted a sure thing, if you wanna send me the pictures and I could definitely tell you whether it is or not, but if ye, if ye have the blade out and yer lookin at the very bottom of it, the flat end, like if you were standing it up—

RG yup

KL —and uh, sright on the bottom there, there should be some numbers on there like a dash 36S, there should be a series of numbers with that in it…

RG Yeah, DWG dot number dot, it’s like F 2 3 1 7 H 3 dash 36 S.

KL Yeah, that’s the designation for the the blade length and that was commonly found in P2s, um… There’s a lot of different blades over years that were in there, there’s some fiberglass ones and steel ones, there’s, uh, different variations that end up in F and there’s Zs and blah blah blah so… It’s probably a P2 but if you wanna send the pictures via email I’ll gladly look at ‘em, and I’m pretty sure I could tell you if it was, um, so…

RG Yeah I would love to do that, I, I just needed to find the right person to just— to send this to and ask but, um, yeah, could— I mean could… While you’re on the phone would you be able, um— do you know what, what— so, so, there’s three— there’s sort of like 4 rows of numbers... There’s like the DWG number, eh, uh, a serial number and something that says aero— aero core dot… So, I don’t know, um, corr what that word was—

KL Right.

RG —and there’s some other serial number... I can’t, I can’t read the writing, it’s sort of worn off, at the bottom...

KL So a lot of em, depending on which service or where it came from, they’ll put it to a prop assembly number, um, without seeing those numbers I, I can’t… It, it bounces around. There’s a lot it could be. Like I said the dash 36 is the uh, it’s referencing the blade length and the prop that it was in. And there’s gonna be another serial number there that is referencing the hub that it, it goes into, which is the propeller assembly—

RG Uh huh.

KL —um but again uh, hang on one… Lemme… Just hang on one second, lemme grab something, alright?

RG Alright sure, yeah.

KL Uh, alright, hang on one moment.


[unintelligible talking in background]

[clanking sounds]

[typing sounds]

KL Uh, I was hoping I still had my prop book sitting right in front of me but I think somebody is using it at the moment… [sigh] Are you still there?

RG Yeah, still here.

KL OK, so uuuhhhhm… Sometimes there’d be on the blade butt a propeller model. It should look something like a 2 4 2 60 dash 3 13. Um. All of em are gonna be 2 4 2 60s and the 3 13 is a variation of it. That could be on the blade butt, umm…


There’s gonna beeeeeeeee a serial number like an N 76… Oh 8 7 6, then there’s gonna be a space like a dash 20 or a 0 point 0 um which is referencing the correction angle…

RG OK that’s… Yeah it says dash 20.

KL OK see that’s the correction angle for when you’re building the prop, you need that to set up the balancing and stuff like that, or aerodynamic balancing is what they call it.

RG Oh, OK.

KL So that’s what that references.

RG Ohh K. Yeah I mean those other numbers like I, I don’t, I, I don’t, I don’t know there’s an N 7 1 7 7 something or other. Uh it’s pretty hard to—

KL That sounds like it, that sounds like it could be your, yer blade serial number.

RG OK yeah that’s possible and then…

KL Yeah cuz ever— every blade has its own serial number cuz it’s a time-tracked item.

RG Right of course, yeah you need to know how long it’s been used for…

KL Mmm hmm.

RG OK so yeah like there’s… So it’s giving— ih— I’ll, I’ll, I should just send you these pic— This is gonna be impossible to figure out, um, over the phone.

KL [breathing]

RG But if you could— If I could send you this, and even if it’s not a P2, you know, my hope is that it is because I’ve been operating on the assumption that it is for like a couple of years and it would be just like—

KL [laughing]

RG —pretty tragically funny to find out that I was wrong in my assumption from the very beginning…

KL Um, yeah, that’s funny, yeah.

RG Yeah pretty… I mean it doesn’t matter, like what— I’m not doing— Ultimately my goal is to sort of make some sort of artwork that just talks about the narrative that, you know, that, that, that some random person could just wind up with this random piece of, uh, military equipment in their house, you know, once it’s like, once it’s useful lifespan is over and the machine it’s part of is no longer a machine it’s just like junk. Um…

KL Right.

RG You know that’s, that’s curious to me. Tr— tracking how, how, how, uh, uh, government consumerism leads to these odds and ends kicking around, you know—

KL Yep.

RG —sort of scrap… But it, it… But anyways I’m interested in that particular aircraft, so I’m hoping that it’s a neptune but…[sigh] That’s the background…

KL It—

RG I don’t know what’s going to—

KL It—

RG —happen, but…

KL It very well could be…I mean there’s uh… I was the last person in the United States that was overhauling propellers for the P2 when we retired em so…


RG I should have called you like four or five years ago, ha ha ha ha.

KL Heh heh heh, yeah I would have been, uh, way up to speed with my stuff and I would have had my prop manual sitting in front… Which I’m curious where I did with that. I used to have it sitting on my shelf right over there but I must have moved it somewheres, but uh…

RG Yeah.

KL Anyways…

RG Um, yeah so I don’t know, what— whatever documentation, er, like, any— any— anything you could— any other resources you could point me to at… I’ll just send in a— in an email… I would just appreciate… So that I could go a little further with this project.


RG The more information you know, the better…

KL Yeah, of course…

RG Yeah I don’t know, do you know like, just off the top of your head, do you know how long that propeller was?

KL Oh, wing to wing? It’s uh, 4— 14 feet wide. It’s like 14 feet 8’s the actual width with the hub and everything. S’pretty…

RG The individual blade that I have is like somewhere around 80. It’s 80. It’s like 80 or so inches, and it’s like 14-and-a-half inches wide at the widest point, maybe 15.

KL Yeah… Sounds like it…

RG Yeah.

KL How— With a picture I’d be able to tell you, um, cuz there— again there’s different blade lengths again that go with it, that’s why there’s a reference of that, uh, dash 36. It’s a breakdown of the measurements of the blade.

RG Oohhh K, cool, um…

KL Is yours heavy? Does it weigh— Uh, standard P2 steel blade weighs about a hundred and 23 pounds—

RG That sound—

KL —with the lead in it.

RG That sounds right, it’s heavy as hell.


KL Yeah.

RG I moved it myself a few times and it’s not fun.

KL I got one in my— I got one in my office right now that I finished. I’ve rit— cleaned up, painted, standing up in the corner as a reminder.


RG That’s funny! I think that, that’s where a lot of these blades have wound up. That’s where mine is, it’s in my living room.


KL Yep! I’ve got one here at work, and I got two of ‘em at home, I got one in my driveway as my uh, uh address sign that I took right off— It was a scrap one off the airplane, so I took one home and I welded a base on it and put my address sticker right on it.


RG [laughing] Yeah, well that’s so, that’s so funny, well, great minds think alike I guess.

KL [laughing] Well I love the old P2s and those, those propellers. I… Pretty much every one in our neptune fleet I had my hands on er overhauled at some point in time now, so I miss the old girls… They’re, they’re fun to work on. Lots of personality in em. Good airplane, so…

RG Yeah, I mean they were pretty old by the time you guys… chucked ‘em. I mean…

KL Yep.

RG It’s, it’s so, it’s so coo— It’s amazing that these very high tech objects, you know… The most, the high tech objects— The most high tech objects in most people’s lives are things you throw out in one, in one or two years. Like the more high tech it is the—

KL Yeah.

RG —shorter lifespan it has, and you know, those old airplanes really lasted. Of course people like you… put a lot of work into them, um… The fact that you could do that and they would still operate is amazing.

KL Yeah well that’s basically World War Two technology. A lot the props and the way they operate and stuff was really standard to like the B-17s and stuff that were flying back in World War Two. Some of the basic principles are still there, like just having ball bearings are what’s holding that blade in is what’s pretty amazing. You put— You know— There’s [sigh] the four rows of uh… Is it 46 ball bearings per? And if you put 1 of them in there it ain’t coming out. It’s like the tolerances are down to like two thou? It’s, it’s pretty crazy. A ball bearing’s all that’s holding that blade in.

RG Woowww. That’s, that’s pretty crazy. That’s amazing.

KL Yeah.

RG I mean there’s so much that I don’t know…

KL Yeah send me—

RG Hopefully gonna find out…

KL Well here’s my email. You ready?

RG Yeah! ready…

KL It’s “K-L-O-O-T-S” at Neptune Aviation dot com.


RG OK. I will send this to you right now.

KL Cool!

RG And what’s your last name Ken?

KL Loots: L-O-O-T-S.

RG Great. Anyways, thanks so much for taking the time to talk to me about this crazy thing that I’m working on, and uh…

KL Yeah, no…

RG I’ll send you this email right away, but uh, I really appreciate it. Um whatever—

KL Not a problem at all.

RG —help you can give me is, is so excellent. Thanks so much.

KL Alright, well, thank you.

RG Ok take care.

KL Yep, bye.