Hispano-Suiza Wright Aeronautical Type 8H V8 300hp Aero Engine
circa 1916, V8 configuration. Perhaps the most prolific and successful aero engine from the First World War was designed by Hispano-Suiza the 'Viper' V8 engine used primarily in the formidable SE5A, so effectively campaigned by 56 Squadron Royal Flying Corps. The original design was an 11.8 litre single overhead camshaft engine weighing just 508lbs and developing a maximum output of 220bhp. Ignition was by twin BTH magnetos and a single Zenith carburettor provided fuel supply. Further development of this engine by Hispano-Suiza ensued from the demands of war calling for ever more powerful and faster units. Wolseley Motors Ltd of Birmingham built these Hispano-Suiza designed engines under licence as did Wright Aeronautical and the 300hp unit of 1916 had bore and stroke of 140 x 150mm, displacing a massive 18,472cc. Output was quoted at 308bhp at 1,850rpm. Direction of rotation was clockwise.
This engine has been in the current ownership for more than twenty years and is of Wright Aeronautical manufacture under Birkigt Licence no. 275445 the plate on the engine quoting the dates 1916 March to May. The engine reputedly came from an SE5 fighter but this is not confirmed. Correspondence and invoices on file show extensive restoration work carried out over the last twenty or so years by specialist engineers including DPG of Buckden, Northants. Inspection of these invoices is recommended. This engine has been assembled by its engineer owner but time has precluded firing up. It is fitted with two Dixie 800 magnetos rebuilt by Frank Stairs of Hendon about ten years ago and subsequently unused. It comes also with an original but incomplete twin choke Stromberg carburettor made for the Hispano-Suiza Model 8H engine. One inlet manifold is missing however the other will serve as a pattern. Flywheel and ring gear are fitted and the engine is reported as turning as freely as the new rings allow.
This engine is offered as viewed and comes also with a photocopy of an instruction manual for Wolseley Hispano-Suiza aero engines, a photocopy of the Ministry of Munitions Technical Department Aircraft Production manual dated 1918 and two spare cylinder blocks and a camshaft.