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PO Box 41
Lutwyche 4030
QLD AU
Tel +61.404452148

Aero Engines in the SHRF Collection

Rolls-Royce “Eagle” Aero Engine

A piston engine in a twelve-cylinder 60° Vee configuration (V12) of 20.3 litres capacity. Each cylinder is separate with its water jacket fabricated from steel pressings and welded in place. Each cylinder has two valves, inlet and exhaust, actuated by an overhead camshaft on each bank of six cylinders. The initial output of this engine was 225 horsepower increasing to 350hp in the ‘Eagle 81’.

This was Henry Royce’s first aero-engine, and took only six months from drawing board to initial test. A feature of this engine is the beautiful epicyclic reduction gear drive to the propeller. This type of reduction gear was later incorporated by Mr Royce in the engines of the Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost and New Phantom (Phantom I) motor cars.

Two Rolls-Royce Eagle engines powered Alcock and Brown’s Vickers Vimy biplane (a converted bomber) which made the first direct crossing of the Atlantic in 1919; and Ross and Keith Smith’s Vimy, in which the Australian brothers, also in 1919, accomplished the first flight from England to Australia within a specified time limit of 30 days or less.

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The "Eagle" engine is kindly on loan from Museum Victoria: see www.museumvictoria.com.au.



Rolls-Royce “Merlin” Aero Engine

A piston engine in a twelve-cylinder 60 Vee configuration (V12) of 27 litres capacity with two banks of six cylinders. Each bank carried an overhead camshaft driven by skew gears from the wheel case at the rear. Each cylinder has four valves, two inlet and two exhaust. Initial output was 625hp, which increased to over 2000hp in later versions largely due to improvements in supercharging.

This famous engine powered Britain’s World War II front-line fighters, the Supermarine Spitfire and Hawker Hurricane, in the decisive 1940 Battle of Britain. It was also used in the Avro Lancaster and de Havilland D.H.98 Mosquito during WW2.

The Merlin was a direct descendant of the R engine, which was developed by Rolls-Royce as a private venture without Government funding, and powered the Schneider Trophy-winning Supermarine S.6 and S.6B racing seaplanes in 1929 and 1931 respectively.

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The Merlin engine is kindly on loan from the Australian War Memorial, Canberra: see www.awm.gov.au



Rolls-Royce "Derwent" Jet Engine

The Derwent was the second jet engine manufactured by Rolls-Royce. The Welland was the first, developed in association with jet propulsion pioneer (Sir) Frank Whittle.

The Derwent was first fitted to the twin-engine Gloster Meteor in 1944.

Early Derwents produced 2000lb thrust; later versions delivered 3600lb thrust at 14,700rpm.

A Meteor powered by two Derwent V turbojets broke the World Air Speed record; first at 606mph (975kph) in 1945, and in 1946 at 616mph (990kph).

The Welland and Derwent headed a long line of highly successful Rolls-Royce jet engines, which included the celebrated Avon, Conway, RB.211 and Trent..

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Rolls-Royce "Avon" Jet Engine

Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation Pty Ltd (CAC), owned by a consortium of Australian companies and Rolls-Royce Ltd, manufactured this engine in the 1950s in Melbourne. The engine type was fitted to the English-Electric Canberra twin-engine bomber manufactured under licence by the Government Aircraft Factories (GAF) in Fishermans Bend, Melbourne for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). Later versions were used in the CAC-built Avon Sabre jet fighter for the RAAF. This aircraft was a more powerful development of the North American F-86 Sabre.

A total of 218 Avon engines was manufactured by CAC, and a further 1,704 overhauls were undertaken for the RAAF. CAC had a long association with Rolls-Royce, having built 108 Merlins (plus spares) and 112 Nene jet engines in Australia.

Nicholas and Richard Knight presented this engine to the Foundation in recognition of the contribution of Herbert H. Knight to the aircraft industry in Australia, and his role in bringing aircraft manufacture to Australia. Herbert Knight commenced his career in the aircraft industry at Westland Aircraft in Somerset, England in 1928. He was at CAC from 1937 until 1969, serving as General Manager and a Director for the last nine years of his career.

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