Langs propellor

Two men standing in front of a bi-plane, with a Langs propellor

Alexander Dashwood Lang was a journalist living in Weybridge. He is credited with being the designer of the modern propeller, initially manufacturing his designs in the Riverside Works, Addlestone, but moving to Hamm Moor Lane when the company needed more space.

The propellers were made from Honduras mahogany wood or walnut. They were planed to a thickness of approximately 2 cm, glued together, smoothed, shaped and then varnished. The propellers were available in two designs – with either two or four blades.

Orders for Lang propellers increased by 5,900% with the outbreak of the First World War, from 250 in 1914 up to 15,000 in 1918. It is said that approximately 80% of British planes flying during the War were using propellers that were made by Lang. Even the move to the new premises in Hamm Moor Lane could not provide enough space to meet this demand, and so the company hired the Chertsey Drill Hall throughout the War.

When the British flyers Alcock and Brown made the first transatlantic flight in 1919, the plane, a Vickers Vimy, was fitted with Lang propellers 21037-213 and 24040-213.

The Lang Propeller Company closed in 1922 and the premises and work was taken over by the Airscrew Co. Airscrew continued manufacturing propellers for fighter planes during the Second World War and also manufactured the Walrus seaplane which was based at Chertsey Meads. Airscrew initially expanded by moving to new premises in Addlestone, but in 1986 moved to Sunbury.