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Our Engine Collection

Whittle W2B

A W2B engine like this powered Britainʼs first jet, the Gloster E28/39, for many of its later test flights. This is one of the oldest surviving jet engines produced by Frank Whittleʼs company Power Jets.  On loan from the Aeroplane Collection

Bristol Mercury

This is the radial piston recovered from the RAF 1940 crash site in Norway of the museum’s shot down Gladiator.  The crash site was Lille Haugefell Mountain above the Arctic Circle.  The engine was donated to the museum by the Norwegian Government and has since been refurbished by the Rolls Royce Heritage Trust.

Rolls-Royce Derwent

Jet Age Museum’s Rolls-Royce Derwent is a Mk.8, sectioned and on a stand complete with jet pipe. It was given to the museum by North Gloucestershire Technical College.

The Derwent is essentially an improved version of the Rolls-Royce Welland, itself a renamed version of Frank Whittle’s Power Jets W.2B, Rolls Royce inherited the design from Rover when they took over their jet engine development in 1943. The performance over the original design was somewhat improved, reliability dramatically, making the Derwent the chosen engine for the Gloster Meteor and many other post-World War II British jet designs.

The basic Derwent design was also used to produce a larger 5,000 lbf (22.2 kN) thrust engine known as the Rolls-Royce Nene.
Development of the Nene continued in a scaled-down version specifically for use on the Meteor. Several Derwents and Nenes were sold to the Soviet Union, causing a major political row, as it was the most powerful production-turbojet in the world at the time. The Soviets promptly reverse engineered the Derwent V and produced their own unlicensed version, the Klimov RD-500.

The Mk.V was also used on the Canadian Avro Jetliner, but this was never put into production.  On 7 November 1945, a Meteor powered by the Derwent V set a world air speed record of 606 mph (975 km/h).

Rolls-Royce Merlin

Our engine is on loan from the Midland Warplane Museum.  It was recovered from Hurricane P2765 which was shot down by German aircraft over West Sussex on 9th September 1940.  Pilot Officer James Humphreys survived.

The Rolls-Royce Merlin is a liquid-cooled, 27-litre (1,650 cu in) capacity, V-12 piston aero engine.

Initially known as the PV-12, Rolls-Royce named the engine the Merlin following the company convention of naming its piston aero engines after birds of prey.

The first operational aircraft to enter service using the Merlin were the Fairey Battle, Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire. More Merlins were made for the four-engined Avro Lancaster heavy bomber than any other aircraft.

Arguably one of the most successful aircraft engines of the World War II era, many variants were built by Rolls-Royce in Derby, Crewe and Glasgow, as well as by Ford of Britain in Trafford Park, Manchester. The Packard V-1650 was a version of the Merlin built in the United States.

Production ceased in 1950 after a total of almost 150,000 engines had been delivered.

Rolls Royce Olympus Turbojet Engine

Our Olympus jet engine is from the RAF Museum reserve collection.

The Rolls Royce Olympus was one of the world’s first 2-spool axial flow turbojets. It first ran in 1950 & its initial use was as the engine for the Avro Vulcan, which used 4 of these turbojets. These each developed 11,000 lbf thrust initially, rising through development to 20,000 lbf for the last version, the Mk 301. The Mk 301 was developed into the Mk 320 for the TSR-2 where it developed up to 33,000 lbf thrust with reheat. The Mk 320 was in turn developed into the Rolls Royce/Snecma Olympus 593 for Concorde where it developed up to 38,075 lbf thrust. The Olympus engine was designed in the late 1940’s by Bristol Aero Engines, eventually coming under the Rolls Royce umbrella in 1966. The first flight-ready engines were installed in a Canberra in August 1952. In May 1953 the Olympus powered Canberra set a world record altitude of 63,668 feet, later increased to 65,876 in August 1955. Other derivatives of the Olympus have been used for electricity generation. By 1990 over 320 generating sets had been sold to 21 countries, some of which are still in use. Maritime versions were also developed and these were used by 15 navies around theworld, including the RN where it powered the Invincible class carriers. As of 2018, the Olympus remains in service in both maritime and industrial installations.

Rolls Royce Spey

The Hawker-Siddeley Trident was the worldʼs first three-engine jet airliner, serving with British European Airways, then British Airways, from 1964 until the mid-1980s. It was powered by three rear-mounted Rolls-Royce RB163 Spey engines as seen here. On loan from the Aeroplane Collection.

Rolls Royce Sapphire x 2

Two Armstrong-Siddeley Sapphire SA.7R jet engines which powered the museum’s Gloster Javelin FAW9.  On loan from the RAF Museum Reserve Collection