V12 piston aero engine
History of Type
A powerful, iconic, V12 supercharged, piston aero engine of ~1,650 cu inches (~27 L), first designed in the early 1930s by Rolls Royce to meet the Royal Air Force’s (RAF) need for a 1,000 bhp class aircraft motor.
Initially called the PV-12 (# Private Venture –12 cylinder as Rolls Royce funded the development costs) it was first bench test run in October 1933 and showed a modest ~750 bhp in its initial undeveloped form.
Interestingly, it was first test flown in an old fashion Hawker Hart bi-plane fighter in February 1935. However, this was unsatisfactory so in 1936 Rolls Royce bought a Heinkel He 70, a German made high speed mail courier aircraft on which to test the PV-12.
The potential of the PV-12 was appreciated by the RAF which in 1935 issued a requirement for two new fighters to be designed around the PV-12. These 2 new fighters became the famous Supermarine Spitfire and Hawker Hurricane. At this point funding of the PV-12 was taken over by the British Government and the engine was given a new name – Merlin. It is called Merlin after a small European hunting bird.
The Merlin was progressively refined and ultimately produced ~2,000 bhp in the 133 version. It saw service in most British fighters (Spitfire & Hurricane) and bombers (Lancaster & Mosquito) of WW11, and some American aircraft like P51 Mustang. It was also made by Packard in America where it was called the V-1650 or more commonly “Packard Merlin”.
History of HARS Engines
HARS’ engines are both Merlin 25s which powered the British built Mosquito bomber. The first is #104605, built at Hillington, Glasgow on contract SB.4601 and delivered to the RAF on 25th July 1944. The second #106607, was built by Ford at Trafford Park, Manchester on contract C/Eng/1480 and delivered to the RAF on 14th October 1944.
Engine Type: 12 cylinder, V-block piston engine, 1,650 cu in (~27 L), liquid cooled, supercharged
Manufactured: ~149,600 built in the period 1936-1950 in various locations, of which more than 55,500 were built by Packard in USA.
Usage: Fitted to many aircraft types, including:
- Hawker Hurricane
- Supermarine Spitfire
- de Havilland Mosquito
- Avro Lancaster
- Handley Page Halifax
- North American P51 Mustang