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RAF.1a 90hp Engine Build
The Final Touches
In order to complete our original WWI RAF BE.2f aircraft The Vintage Aviator Ltd. had to undertake the construction of a completely airworthy RAF.1a Engine. No engines of this type are operating in flying aircraft in anywhere in the world. Unable to source an engine suitable for overhaul and unwilling to substitute a modern engine into an otherwise original airframe, the only option was to build the entire engine. An original, but poor condition RAF.1a engine from 1915 was used as a pattern. After nearly three years this project is near completion. The first new engine prototype is currently running on a test stand. Undergoing testing and evaluation, this engine has run flawlessley for over 10 hours. What we have learnt from this prototype has enabled us to progress with the assembly of several new RAF.1a engines - the first to be manufactured in 90 years.
During the reproduction of these newly manufactured engines, no parts from the original engine used to "reverse engineer" the production engines, were rendered useless or disabled in anyway. All measurements and investigative procedures were non-destructive. An indepth look at researching, documenting and building the RAF1a engine will be featured in the upcoming months... Every single component and part of this engine has been manufactured from scratch and without the aid of a complete set of drawings. Reverse engineering from original parts was the main source of engineering data as well as the expert knowledge of techniques and practices prevalant during 1915, when the original engines were built.
It is worth mentioning that we have attempted to reproduce all engine parts to their exact original specs. Our hope is that we will be able to supply missing parts to enable other engine owners to complete an original engine that has long been missing components. To achieve this, all our engine parts are finished as close to "factory fresh" as we can make them.