Aviation Engines

Beardmore

Beardmore was an early engine builder, making a variety of engines, commencing with spark ignition paraffin engines which were produced up to 1911. After this, they turned to Hot-Bulb and diesel engines with both solid and blast injection. They made a series of Railcar engines, designed for the company by A E Chorlton, which had good sales, especially in overseas markets where large diesels were relatively rare.

Beardmore Railcar Engine

Beardmore Railcar Engine

Bore and stroke sizes of 8-1/4" X 12" and 12" X 12" were offered, and the engines were built in 4,6,8,12 and 18 cylinder sizes, the smaller bore sizes giving about 50 hp per cylinder at 750rpm.

Beardmore Railcar Engine

Beardmore Railcar Engine

The Tornado engine was a conventional diesel engine developed from the Beardmore railcar engine shown above, with changes made to increase the output and reduce the considerable weight, the smaller 8-cylinder railcar engine weighed 5000lbs for 400hp, while the Tornado engine weighed in at 4500lbs after an aluminium crankcase design was abandoned as being too flexible, for an output of 650 hp.

Tornado Diesel  Airship Engine

Tornado Diesel Airship Engine

Their efforts for the UK Air Ministry met with limited success, and the crash of the R101 which had the Beardmore 'Tornado' diesel engines fitted was a body blow to the company, although they were generally exonerated from any major blame at the enquiry. The engine is fitted with a 40hp auxiliary engine which can be seen at the back of the main block. It actually took about 10hp to spin the main engine up to 100/120 rpm so that starting became possible without any pre-heating etc.

Tornado Diesel  Airship Engine

Tornado Diesel Airship Engine


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