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GYPSY MAJOR ENGINE REFURBISHMENT

PRESS RELEASE ISSUED ON BEHALF OF THE DE HAVILLAND AIRCRAFT MUSEUM, HOME OF THE MOSQUITO AIRCRAFT MUSEUM

Date: July 6th, 2016

REFURBISHMENT of this sectioned de Havilland Gipsy Major 1 petrol engine is nearing completion at the de Havilland Aircraft Museum at Salisbury Hall, London Colney, Herts.

Volunteers Peter Coard (left) and Roderick Coleman are pictured here checking torque settings of the bearings of the crankshaft, which had been removed when the entire engine was dismantled for checking.

The unit, which does not have a serial number, is believed to have been built by de Havilland at its Hatfield factory in the early 1940s for use as an instructional engine at its Aeronautical Technical Training School.

It is believed it was used countless times by the company apprentices learning how the engine actually worked and how to dismantle it.

It was displayed on the company’s stand at the Society of British Aircraft Companies (SBAC) Air Show at Radlett, Herts, in 1947 and is believed to have also been on show at the Paris Air Show of 1948.

Restoration of the four-cylinder engine, which has bronze cylinder heads, began at the museum four years ago. When finished it will be fitted with a shortened propeller and join a number of other de Havilland petrol, jet and rocket engines on display in Salisbury Hall’s Halford Collection of DH power units. These include a Gipsy III, Gipsy Minor, Gipsy Queen, Gipsy Six, Gipsy Twelve, Gyron, Gyron Junior, Gnome, Goblin 35 and Ghost Mk 104.

The DH Gipsy Major I engine was installed in the DH.82A Tiger Moth and DH.87B Hornet Moth, Tiger Moth G-ANRX (built 1935) adapted for crop-spraying, and Hornet Moth G-ADOT (built 1938) are on display at the de Havilland Aircraft Museum.