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Rolls-Royce Goshawk: Wikis


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Type Piston V-12 aero-engine
Manufacturer Rolls-Royce Limited
First run 1933
Major applications Supermarine Type 224
Short Knuckleduster
Number built 20
Developed from Rolls-Royce Kestrel

The Rolls-Royce Goshawk was a development of the Rolls-Royce Kestrel featuring evaporative or steam cooling that first ran in 1933. It provided 660 horsepower (490 kW) and powered the Short Knuckleduster, the Supermarine Type 224 (a predecessor to the Supermarine Spitfire[1]) and other prototype aircraft. In line with Rolls-Royce piston engine naming convention this engine was named after the Goshawk bird of prey.


Design and development

Developed from the Kestrel IV prototype engine, the evaporative or steam cooling version was named Goshawk. Twenty engines were built and they flew only in prototypes as a few manufacturer's private ventures and "one offs". Powers for individual installations are quoted between 650 and 700 hp (520 kW). Problems with coolant leaks, coolant pumping and the realisation that large wing mounted radiators would be vulnerable to combat damage caused the project to be cancelled although valuable lessons had been learned and were put to good use with development of the later Merlin.[2]


Goshawk I
(1932) Developed from the prototype Kestrel IV.
Goshawk II
(1935) 600 hp. Lowered propeller reduction gear ratio.
Goshawk III
(1935) 600hp. Further reduction of gear ratio.
Goshawk VI
660 hp. High ratio reduction gear.
Goshawk VII
660 hp. Raised reduction gear ratio.
Goshawk VIII
660 hp. Special experimental engine. Maximum power output: 837 hp.


Goshawk powered Short Knuckleduster

The Goshawk was the power unit specified for the twin engined Short Knuckleduster flying boat (K3574) to Specification R24/31 and "preferred" for the Blackburn F3 (K2892), this aircraft only taxied with the Goshawk fitted and did not fly. The Bristol Type 123, Hawker P.V.3, Westland F.7/30, Supermarine Type 224 (K2890) and the Westland PV4 biplane (K2891) to Fighter specification F7/30 were other experimental applications.

The Goshawk also powered the private venture Hawker "Intermediate Fury" (G-ABSF) and the Westland Pterodactyl V (K2770) and was installed for trials in the Gloster TSR.38 (S1705), the first Gloster Gnatsnapper prototype (N227) and the Hawker High Speed Fury (K3586)


Application list

Specifications (Goshawk I)

Data from Lumsden [3]

General characteristics

  • Type: 12-cylinder liquid-cooled 60 degree Vee aircraft piston engine
  • Bore: 5.0 in (127 mm)
  • Stroke: 5.5 in (140 mm)
  • Displacement: 1,296.75 in³ (21.25 L)
  • Length: 74.61 in (1,895 mm)
  • Width: 24.41 in (620 mm)
  • Height: 35.63 in (905 mm)
  • Dry weight: 975 lb (442 kg)


  • Valvetrain: OHC - Overhead Camshaft
  • Supercharger: Single-stage supercharger
  • Fuel type: Petrol
  • Cooling system: Liquid-cooled


See also

Related development

Comparable engines

Related lists



  1. ^ History of the Spitfire
  2. ^ Gunston 1989, p.141.
  3. ^ Lumsden 2003, p.197.


  • Gunston, Bill. World Encyclopedia of Aero Engines. Cambridge, England. Patrick Stephens Limited, 1989. ISBN 1-85260-163-9
  • Lumsden, Alec. British Piston Engines and their Aircraft. Marlborough, Wiltshire: Airlife Publishing, 2003. ISBN 1-85310-294-6.

Further reading

  • Rubbra, A.A. Rolls-Royce Piston Aero Engines - a designer remembers: Historical Series no 16 :Rolls Royce Heritage Trust, 1990. ISBN 1-87292-200-7

External links


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