Ian Cable’s
RAF No.1A 
V-8 AERO ENGINE
 

The RAF 1 was a V-8 engine designed at the Royal Aircraft Factory and built by various companies including Daimler, Rolls-Royce and Wolseley Motors. It was based on a Renault 70/80HP design and had a displacement of 540 cubic inches (8.8 L). It was rated at 92HP (70kW) at 1600 rpm.

Cylinder heads were cast integrally with the cylinders, with the poppet valve intake and exhaust valves set one above the other in an upside-down F-head configuration.

The engines featured a lightweight flywheel at the rear, enclosed in a cast housing. Engine oil was picked up from the bottom of the crankcase and fed into a reservoir at the top.  From there it was gravity fed to the main bearing caps and the connecting rod journals by centrifugal effect of the crankshaft. Main bearings were splash fed ball bearings.  Engine oil from the gallery was also supplied to the 2:1 reduction gearbox at the front. This drove a four-bladed propeller at one-half engine speed, the single camshaft was splined into the rear of the short propeller shaft.  The arrangement eliminated the need for an oil pump.

The Royal Aircraft Factory was a forerunner of the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough. It had earlier been the Army Balloon Factory.

It was responsible for developing many engines and aircraft prototypes.

Our model is of a 1A engine of 1913 built by Ian Cable and pictured at the Model Engineer Exhibition in 2013. Home made castings were used, everything else was machined from solid. Ian made his own gears. The only bought in items are the main bearings - from skateboards. The engine runs and the magnetos work.


An original of the engine is in the National Museum of the United States Air Force (photo below).

An original 1A engine can be seen below powering a restored original BE2f in New Zealand.