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Rolls Royce Merlin XX Engine S/N 52477

Built by Rolls-Royce at their Glasgow works, this engine is the port outer Merlin from a Halifax bomber serialised W1048 TL-S. The aircraft was based at Linton-on-Ouse with No. 35 Squadron which, on the night of April 27, 1942, was part of a force detailed to attack the German Battle-cruiser 'Tirpitz' hiding in a Norwegian Fjord. During the raid TL-S was damaged forcing the pilot to make a wheels-up landing on the frozen surface of Lake Hoklingen in Norway. The aircraft sunk within 12 hours but even with the intense cold the crew survived. TL-S had just 13 hours flying time in its logbook.


The engine was recovered from the lake in 1973 and taken to the RAF Museum at Hendon. At that time MAPS were actively seeking a project to refurbish from the museum and in 1979 the Merlin arrived in the workshop for restoration to static display.

The engine required a great deal of work having been immersed in the lake for 31 years. Despite this it was remarkable to find that internally it was as good as when it left the factory. Oil taken from the sump was found to be acceptable for use now whilst the starter motor was transferred to a Spitfire and used for an engine test. After five years work the Merlin was returned to Hendon where it is now displayed alongside the museum Halifax'.

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