Pobjoy Niagara Engine
Unfortunately we do not have an entire engine but what we have has been cleaned and restored to a very high standard. Should anyone know of a Pobjoy lurking anywhere, please contact MAPSL.
While working at the RAF college at Cranwell, Douglas R Pobjoy was asked to design a small and efficient seven-cylinder radial engine of 67hp for the college's light aircraft project, to become the Comper Swift. It is possibly the only aircraft flying today with a Pobjoy engine i. Building a prototype engine in his workshop at Minster-on-Sea on the Isle of Sheppey, he allowed it to run for120 hours before submitting it to the Air Ministry for a further 50 hour test. Passing all its tests, a small factory was set up at Hooton Park, Cheshire in 1930 and production of the Pobjoy ‘R’ began.
In 1932, Short Brothers had plans to build a twin engine high wing monoplane to carry five people. Known as the Short Scion, it was to be powered by two Pobjoy engines of a later mark and known as the Pobjoy Niagara, which gave an increased power to 90hp. Today, the workshop of MAPSL has one of the last remaining examples of this engine, which is currently undergoing refurbishment for display purposes. This particular engine had been sent to the Netherlands for use in a single seat aircraft. It was at the University of Delft at the outbreak of the war and the only manner in which it could be saved from destruction was to part-section it as an exhibit and training aid. Subsequently, it was owned by the family of a former professor from the university until it was purchased by MAPSL in 2015. Some additional parts were obtained from the Newark Air Museum.
This batch of photographs taken by MAPSL board member, John Knowles, show the rebuild from its arrival when it was just a collection of parts to the current state. It is intended to use this rebuild as a pattern for manufacturing a dummy Pobjoy engine which upon completion will form part of the display of the Short Scion aircraft currently being restored to static condition in the workshop. Little of the engine can be seen when it is installed within the cowlings and this sectioned exhibit will provide a real insight into how a small radial engine actually works.
Robin J Brooks. PR Director MAPSL / Robin Heaps, Secretary and Scion Project Leader, MAPSL