Story added on 2nd August 2015
Whilst not attempting to emulate the good books and writings about the great man an interesting exhibit has been stored at the museum for a considerable time and it was thought that it was about time it saw the light of day.
The item in question is a Whittle power unit the W2/500 engine. Interestingly it was rescued from a scrap yard in Coventry by some foresighted members in the early days of the museums history, but for them this gem of an engine would have been lost forever. When it was recovered it was stripped down for appraisal and stored.
The unit without any apparent stampings or data plate that we could find would have been manufactured around 1941/2 and it precedes the complete W700 on public display in the Whittle exhibition hall at the museum. It is as a quick google will confirm a reverse flow engine that eventually saw service as a Welland 1 in the early Gloucester Meteors. There were a lot of politics involved with Power Jets at the time which are not the place of the museum to even comment on but none the less make an interesting read if you are interested in early jet engine design and development
After pulling the unit from its storage area a decision was made that to best keep all the parts together (remember we have some pretty extensive building work scheduled soon) an attempt to re-assemble the engine should be made. This was started last week and although it took some considerable time and was literally only put together using the minimum of nuts and bolts it enabled us to identify what parts were missing. Not that we expect them to turn up on ebay etc but an accurate parts body count was feasable.
The engine even in its present state is an important part of the Whittle story and will no doubt at some time in the future be put on secure display. If you have a genuine need for a preview of this important W2 500 engine in its present state then you will need to ring first to arrange your visit.