Reports on New British Power Plants and Planes

Brabazon Committee recommends seven craft… Vickers and Handley Page craft for postwar… Diary of British jetplane

Details are made public on two new British aero engines, the Napier Sabre II and the Rolls-Royce Griffon. While the Sabre has seen action for some time in the Hawker Typhoon, the Griffon is said to power a new British fighter (called the Tornado in some reports, and the Tempest in others. and built by Hawker in either case). Salient in the 24-cyl Sabre II are two equi-rotating crankshafts with two banks of horizontal cylinders, with the same cylinders in top and bottom banks firing together. With 2,240 cu in displacement, the engine has a 7:1 compression ratio, and is stated to deliver over 2,200 hp at 3,700 rpm. Its sleeve valves are operated by a special shaft driving cranked gears, and the two-speed supercharger features continuous drive from two torsion rods through an hydraulic clutch. Another interesting feature is the multiple-cartridge engine starter, to enable five starts without reloading.

The Griffon, latest in the long line of Rolls engines, has a displacement similar to the Sabre. Its horsepower performance, still on the restricted list, is thought to be around 2,100 hp up to 25,000 ft. The Griffon is extremely compact, a feature mainly achieved through use of an external shaft-driven gear box on which all accessories are grouped.

British Committee Recommends Seven New Aircraft

The second Brabazon Committee, dealing with Britain's postwar air plans, has recommended seven new aircraft to assure England's position in the new peace. The types run from an 8-passenger feeder-line plane, through a 14-seat land plane and several larger types, up to the giant 100-ton flying boat reportedly under construction at Bristol as a "spare time" project. The other plans include a jet-propelled passenger plane of unpublicized size, two pressurized land planes, of approximately 70,000- and 100,000-lb gross weight, and a 30-passenger twin-engined land plane of some 40,000 lb.

Vickers and Handley Page Craft for Postwar

During recent weeks, two new warplane conversions for the immediate postwar period were announced in England — first, the Vickers Warwick, a twin-engined monoplane of 45,000 lb with marked resemblance to the Wellington (geodetic construction), powered by 2,000-hp Pratt & Whitney engines; and second, a new model put out by Handley Page, builder of the Halifax, which can carry up to 50 passengers. The latter plane, designed to use as much of the bomber's assemblies as possible, has a circular fuselage suitable for pressurizing. Its cruising speed is reported to be over 200 mph, with a payload of 9,500 lb at an extreme range of 2,500 mi.

Diary of British Jetplane

To complete the background stories on the jetplane, some dates in its development have been made public. In 1933 final development work on the present type was started, in 1937 the first engine was tested, and in 1939 the first jet-propelled airplanes were ordered by the government from Gloster. The Gloster plane flew initially in May 1941, Gen Arnold received full information in July, and the first US jetplane flew in Oct 1942.

A new model Lancaster is now in operation. Known as the Mark III, it has Merlin 28 engines and a new-type bombardier's window.

These news clips, plus "Elongated Spit," an intro of the Spitfire IX, were originally published in the "Aviation Abroad" column of the May, 1944, issue of Aviation magazine, vol 43, no 5, p 221. Lancaster mention was in the "International Briefs" subhead.