Frank Halford

Frank Halford

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Frank Halford

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Major Frank Bernard Halford CBE FRAeS (7 March 1894 – 16 April 1955) was an English aircraft engine designer.


Educated at Felsted, In 1913 he left the University of Nottingham before graduating to learn to fly at Brooklands and Bristol Flying School and became a flight instructor using Bristol Boxkites.

He served in the First World War, in the Aeronautical Inspection Department of the Air Ministry as an engine examiner, and the Royal Flying Corps where he fought at the front. Recalled to engineering duties he improved and enlarged the water-cooled six-cylinder Austro-Daimler, producing the 230 hp (170 kW) Beardmore Halford Pullinger (BHP). This engine was further developed by Siddeley-Deasy as the Puma.

In 1922 he rode a 4-valve Triumph Ricardo in the Senior TT, finishing 13th. That same year he was commissioned to produce a luxury motorcycle for Vauxhall. Based on aero-engine principles, it featured an in-line unit construction four cylinder engine, with shaft drive to the rear wheel. Four examples were made, one exists in a private collection in the Isle of Man.

In 1923 he set up his own consultancy in London, alongside the equally influential engine designer Harry Ricardo. There he designed the famous de Havilland Gipsy air-cooled inline engines, copying the success of the Cirrus Engine company in the general aviation role.

During this period Frank Halford also designed and had built the AM Halford Special...
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