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RR Merlin Mk VIII

 
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dirwin



Joined: 21 Aug 2010
Posts: 11
Location: West Sussex, England.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 13:00    Post subject: RR Merlin Mk VIII Reply with quote

Dear all,

Just before Christmas 2010, I was fortunate enough to acquire a Merlin Mk VIII to grace my garage.

This Mk VIII is the last known surviving example, of a limited production of 184 engines. It was an engine version developed specifically for installation in the Fairey Fulmar Mk1 aeroplane, and was superseded by the Fulmar Mk II with the Merlin Mk 30 engine. The Fulmar was an early aircraft carrier fighter for the UK Fleet Air Arm.

This engine was built in February 1940 and the aeroplane it was installed in became operational in August 1940 with 759 Squadron.

The aeroplane crashed in December 1940 during a training exercise. The pilot bailed out but died of his injuries.

The engine remained buried until the late 1970s before its recovery and storage at Duxford. It was acquired in the late 1990s and restored over a ten year period, and was test run for the first time in December 2010 to mark the 70th anniversary of the aircrafts crash.

For those interested in reading more and seeing photos and a link to the video of the test run, please see:

http://www.worldisround.com/articles/363215/

DAI
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rkammlott



Joined: 26 Jul 2004
Posts: 47
Location: Teaneck NJ

PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 07:37    Post subject: Reply with quote

very nice! i cannot believe how clean it was being underground all those years.
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dirwin



Joined: 21 Aug 2010
Posts: 11
Location: West Sussex, England.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 08:27    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

From the web link, you will note a photo of the engine on a car trailer, as recovered in the late 1990s. Not so clean there! Some of the damage is visible, with the supercharger/carb assembly broken off and lying behind the engine block. The aeroplane crashed into soft (December weather) ground, mostly of clay composition. Very good preserving conditions.

One critical factor, which decided whether the engine was rebuildable, was the condition of the supercharger. Usually crashes are of a nose-down tendency and at high speed, and once the aeroplane impacts the ground the airframe piles in behind the engine and crushes the rear end completely. In this case, the aeroplane crashed in a spin, and the level attitude of the aeroplane and lower vertical speed, saved the supercharger completely. The rotor could be turned by hand, and the throttle butterfly shaft was easy to move.

DAI
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