Rolls Royce Vulture Aviation Models
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The Rolls Royce Vulture.1
    If a little is good, then more is better, but such was not the case when Rolls-Royce mated a pair of V12 Kestrel engines with a common crankcase creating a "X-24" cylinder engine. The Vulture was developed shortly before World War II, but the results were very disappointing.

    The engine was originally designed to produce around 1,750 horsepower (1,300 kW), but continuing problems with the Vulture design meant that the engines were derated to around 1,450-1,550 hp in service by limiting the maximum running speed. As well as delivering less power than was expecteded, the Vulture suffered from frequent failures of the big end connecting-rod bearings, which was found to be caused by a breakdown in lubrication, and also from other engine heat dissipation problems.

    The only aircraft types designed for the Vulture to actually go into production were the twin-engined Avro Manchester and the Hawker Tornado. Although several new aircraft designs had been planned to use the Vulture, work on the engine's design ended in 1941 as Rolls concentrated on their more successful Merlin engine. Another engine produced to the same criteria, the Napier Sabre, would prove more successful after a lengthy development period.

Rolls Royce Vulture
Date: First Run 1937
Cylinders: 24
Configuration: X-24, Liquid cooled
Horsepower: 1,450-1,550 hp
R.P.M.: 2,850 rpm
Bore and Stroke: 5 in (127 mm) x 5.5 in (139 mm)
Displacement: 2,592 in³ (42.47 L)


1. Ed. Glenn D. Angle. Aerosphere 1943. New York: Aerosphere Inc., 1944. B-80.

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Created May 21, 2011. Updated October 12, 2013.