Rolls-Royce aircraft piston engines

Rolls-Royce Aircraft Piston Engines

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Rolls-Royce aircraft piston engines

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Rolls-Royce produced a range of piston engine types for aircraft use in the first half of the 20th Century. Production of own design engines ceased in 1955 with the last versions of the Griffon, licensed production of Teledyne Continental Motors general aviation engines was carried out by the company in the 1960s and 1970s.

Examples of Rolls-Royce aircraft piston engine types remain airworthy today with many more on public display in museums.


In 1915, the Eagle, Falcon, and Hawk engines were developed in response to wartime needs. The Eagle was very successful, especially for bombers. It was scaled down by a factor of 5:4 to make the Falcon or by deleting one bank of its V12 cylinders to make the Hawk. The smaller engines were intended for fighter aircraft. Subsequently it was enlarged to make the Condor which saw use in airships.

Inter-war years

The Kestrel was a post-war redesign of the Eagle featuring wet cylinder liners in (two) common cylinder blocks. It was developed into the supercharged Peregrine and later the Goshawk.

Developed concurrently with the Kestrel was the unusual Rolls-Royce Eagle XVI X engine that was cancelled in favour of the Kestrel despite performing well on the test stand.

The Buzzard was an enlargement of the Kestrel of Condor size, developed in its most extreme form into the Rolls-Royce R racing engine...
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