Rolls-Royce Kestrel

Rolls-Royce Kestrel

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Rolls-Royce Kestrel

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Description:
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The Kestrel or type F is a 700 horsepower (520 kW) class V-12 aircraft engine from Rolls-Royce, their first cast-block engine and the pattern for most of their future piston-engine designs. Used during the interwar period it remains somewhat obscure, although it provided excellent service on a number of British fighters of the era. The engine also sold to international air forces, and it was even used to power prototypes of German military aircraft types that were later used during the Battle of Britain. Several Kestrel engines remain airworthy in 2010.

Design and development

Origin

The Kestrel came about as a result of the excellent Curtiss D-12, one of the first truly successful cast-block engines. Earlier designs had used individually machined steel cylinders that were screwed onto a crankcase, whereas the cast-block design used a single block of aluminium that was machined to form cylinders. The result was both simpler to build as well as lighter and much stronger, requiring only an investment in new machining equipment.

The D-12 was one of the most powerful engines of its era, and continued to swap records with other contemporary high-power engines. No British company could offer anything like it, and when Fairey imported 50 of the type (renaming them as...
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