What do we have?


Currently on loan to Brooklands Museum, Weybridge is a sectioned Rolls Royce Kestrel VI engine, accession number 76/E/170, complete with cropped propeller. Originally an instructional engine, acquired via Rolls Royce at Derby, this mark of the ubiquitous Kestrel was fitted to the Hawker Demon and Hawker Fury II biplane fighters, Fairey Hendon monoplane bomber and the Heyford.


This two-bladed ‘half’ of a four-bladed Heyford propeller (80/E/981) was purchased from a private individual in Oxford. A second similar Heyford propeller (X003-8625) was purchased by the Museum in early 2006 from a private owner in Crewe. This is also a two-blade wooden propeller for a RR Kestrel VI, and is dated February 1937.

The propeller, dated March 1936, fitted a 640hp Kestrel VI as fitted to the 16 Heyford Mk.IIs and 70 Heyford Mk.IIIs built – a large production run for the time.

'Half' of a four-bladed Heyford propeller

Main wheels

One pair of Heyford main wheels, accession numbers 71/A/107-108, were purchased in 1971 from a private seller in Middlesex.

Tailplane Parts

In 1975, Officer Cadets from RAF Henlow recovered as a training exercise some remains of Heyford III K6875 of No.166 squadron at RAF Leconfield, Yorkshire. The aircraft had crashed during a night navigational exercise on the night of Thursday 22 July 1937, killing all six crew. It hit a stone wall just 50feet below the summit of the 1,750 ft plateau at the summit of Broadlee Bank Tor above Edale in the Peak District. These parts of tailplane structure remain in store with the RAF Museum.

Cockpit Floor Section, Heyford Type

(RAFM X004-6441), complete with rudder pedals and base of the throttle quadrant, and other parts appear to have originated with the monoplane H.P.51 Bomber Transport prototype, J9833, of 1935-this was rebuilt from the H.P.43 biplane bomber-transport of 1932. After use for a variety of trials, it was last flown, by the Instrument and Radio Flight of the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough, on 3 January 1940, being struck off charge on 30 May 1940. The parts were passed to the RAFM by the Cotswold Aircraft Restoration Group at Innsworth, Glos in September 2007.

Those items not illustrated here will be photographed as the recording element of the Museum’s ongoing collections management programme proceeds.