Probably the best known aircraft engine of all time, the “Merlin” is a V-12 liquid cooled classic that originated in the early 1930s. It had its problems in the early years but was developed into a war winner powering a great variety of British combat aircraft.
The most famous was the “Spitfire”, but the list included the “Hurricane”, “Mosquito”, and “Lancaster” to name only the most important. Developments ranged from Mk 1 to Mk 71, and over 155,000 were built.
In 1941 a licence was signed with Packard in the USA to build an Americanised version of the “Merlin”. The most important application was to be North American Aviation’s “Mustang”. Our exhibit is a Mk 29, built by Packard, but intended for a Canadian-built Hawker “Hurricane”. It was donated to the Museum by Bill Simpson.