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Aero Engines, Science Museum, London

By spikemoz
This is a sectioned Napier Lion aero engine at the Science Museum in London. It's a twelve cylinder engine with the three banks of four cylinders set like a letter W. Although they first entered service in 1917, they were years ahead of their time and were the engine of choice for military aircraft and world speed record boats, cars and aeroplanes right up to the mid 1930s. For anyone unfamiliar with this engine, it's worthwhile putting Napier Lion in your search engines and studying it's history.

Again at the Science Museum in London is this example of the most powerful British designed and built radial aeroplane engine. It's the two row supercharged 18 cylinder Bristol Centaurus. This particular example is a Mk 18 built in 1947 for the Fleet Air Arm Hawker Sea Fury fighter bomber. It's unusual as it is fitted with sleeve valves instead of the more common poppet valves. These valves can be seen where the cylinders have been sectioned. This engine produced 1,902 kW (2550hp) at 2700 rpm and yet only weighed 1325 kg (2920 lbs). Fitted to the front of the engine is a reduction gearbox and a five bladed variable pitch propeller.


Tags: General Transport Flash and lighting

Voters: imagio, leginR, G3 and 13 more

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imagio 14 12 1 England
4 Apr 2009 12:06AM
Well captured Spike , great detail

4 Apr 2009 6:39AM
Two great shots, the information is spot on.
motorsportpictures 12 289 23 United Kingdom
4 Apr 2009 7:18AM
What a beast.
4 Apr 2009 12:30PM
Two magnificent and highly detailed images Spike accompanied with your customary informative write up. Superb work.
I nearly mentioned the use of sleeve valves in aero engines in our recent discussion of Bullieds Leader class loco.
spikemoz 14 2
4 Apr 2009 4:34PM
Thanks for the votes and comments, much appreciated.

Quote:I nearly mentioned the use of sleeve valves in aero engines in our recent discussion of Bullieds Leader class loco.

Hi Den,
Yes, the use of sleeve valves is an interesting subject. I suspect they fell out of favour because of the lubricant, materials and machine technology available to designers at the time, together with the cost. I'm amazed today's F1 engine designers haven't tried them.

ZX1400 13 United Kingdom
4 Apr 2009 4:57PM
Some great shots and brilliant detail and like the the information that you put on as well and gives the photo more meaning.
Regards Taco
Actuarius 14 1 United Kingdom
6 Apr 2009 6:18PM
Ahhh - the Lion. Of course a brace of them powered the Mobil Railton Special to a Land Speed Record after the Second World War. Quite something for an engine that first saw service in the First World War!

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