Hear a WWII Rolls-Royce Merlin engine fueled this weekend

One of the most famous Allied sounds of WWII, the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine was used in Spitfire and Hurricane fighter planes and the Lancaster bomber, and this weekend you can hear one up close . The RAF Museum in North London is bringing a working engine to its front field and will turn it on so people can hear that famous roar.

(c) RAF Museum

The demonstration will last approximately 10-15 minutes and will take place at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. this weekend (August 6 & 7).

As it is very noisy, the Merlin engine will be in a fenced area and you will be at least 10 meters away from it at all times. It will take time to reach full power and will peak for around 20 seconds, so people worried about being muted for the full 15 minutes don’t need to be.

During the demonstrations you will have to stay behind the barrier, but once the engine has cooled down you can enter the arena and approach. Historic Aero Engines will be on hand to answer any questions you may have.

The demonstration and the museum are free, but the museum recommends booking a ticket in advance for this weekend from here. Besides the Merlin demonstration, you can easily spend at least half a day or more in the museum as it is very big and has a lot to see in its hangers.

The Merlin remains most closely associated with the Spitfire and Hurricane, although the majority of production has been for the Avro Lancaster four-engine heavy bomber. Originally known as the PV-12, it was later called Merlin following the company’s convention of naming its four-stroke piston aero engines after birds of prey.

The museum is about a 10 minute walk from Colindale tube station on the Northern line. There’s no scheduled closures on the Northern line this weekend.


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