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Rolls and Royce, met in Manchester in 1904. Rolls-the Hon. Charles Stewart Rolls-possessed wealth, an Eton-and-Cambridge education, a degree in mathematics and applied science, and a fine record as a motorist. He was a sportsman he had consistently displayed a daring at the wheel and a determined approach to the technical problems of motoring.

In the business of C. S. Rolls and Co., which he established with Claude Johnson in 1902. In 1903 he set a world speed record of 93 m.p.h.; but the car was a 70 h.p. Mors, and by the following year, when his books showed orders for a hundred Continental cars, he could still not find a British product which measured up to his standards.

At ten years of age Henry Royce started work as a telegraph boy, later attending a technical college, and serving a few years in the Great Northern locomotive shops at Peterborough. After a spell in an engineering works at Leeds, he set up a business in Manchester, making arc lamps and dynamos. The slump after the Boer War caused him to turn his ambition to cars. Disappointed with a foreign model which he acquired, he decided to put his own ideas into practice, and in 1903 he completed a two-cylinder car of 10 h.p., having handled much of the precision work himself.

One of his first three cars went to Henry Edmunds, who arranged the meeting in Manchester. The two men took to each other immediately, and having tried out Royce's car, young Rolls undertook to sell its maker's entire output. But he began to ply his partner with suggestions and demands.

The "two Rs" were first officially linked in business association at Christmas 1904, by a working agreement between the two firms; and thenceforth the Rolls-Royce car began.

By 1906 Royce's production was large enough to allow Rolls to stop his sales of other makes of car, and Rolls-Royce, Ltd., was founded. Royce's old partner, A. E. Claremont, became chairman; Rolls was technical managing director; and Royce was nominated chief engineer and works director.

Rolls, who had become a member of the Aeronautical Society in 1901, was already a keen balloonist; then, having met the Wright brothers, he turned to heavier-than--aircraft. He was awarded his pilot's certificate (No. 2) on March 8th, 1910-the very same day that Lord Brabazon received his No. 1. On the Wright biplane he made the first heavier-thanair crossing of the Channel by an Englishman, and the first double crossing by any aeroplane in history; but soon afterwards-on July 12th, 1910, he crashed to his death at the Bournemouth flying meeting, only 33 years of age. He was the first Englishman to die in an accident to a powered, heavier-than-air machine.

In 1910 Royce became seriously ill and thereafter was absent for long periods from his new factory at Derby. He worked on in the south of France and on the south coast of England.

Following the British Schneider victory of 1929-made possible by the "R" engine-a baronetcy was conferred upon him, and he heard from his bed how an improved engine of this type sent a Supermarine S.6B to final victory in the Schneider Race of 1931. He died on April 22nd, 1933.

1914    Design of first Rolls-Royce aero engine-later named Eagle started. Company making engines of official pattern at Derby.

1915    Eagle on test six months after design initiated. Hawk
designed and developed. Falcon designed

1918    Condor on test at 525 h.p.

1919    Alcock and Brown, in a Vickers Vimy (two Rolls-Royce Eagle Vills), mode first direct crossing of North Atlantic; flying time, 16 hir 12 min. Ross Smith and Keith Smith, in an Eagle-Vimy, made first flight from England to Australia11,130 miles in 124 hr flying time.

1920    Van Ryneveld and Quintin Brand, also in an Eagle-Vimy, made first flight from England to South Africa-6,281 miles in 92 hr 58 min flying time.

Between 1915 and 1924 Rolls-Royce Aero-engine production was: Eagle, 4,674; Hawk, 200; Falcon, 2,185; Condor, 327.

1925    Design of Rolls-Royce "F" series of engines (later called Kestrel) started.

1926    First "F" engine tested and delivered.

1927    The " H " engine - later the Buzzard - under development.

1929    Air Ministry decided in February to compete in Schneider Trophy Contest; Rolls-Royce asked to develop a racing engine. Within six months "R" engine was delivering 1,900 h.p. for a weight of 1,350 ]b. Installed in Supermarine S.6, which won Schneider Contest at 328.63 m.p.h.

1931    Rolls-Royce again asked to develop a Schneider Trophy engine to help secure a third victory, which would gain Trophy outright for Gt. Britain. Outcome was improved "R" engine of 2,360 h.p., weighing 1,630 lb. Schneider Trophy won outright. Later "R" engine gave 2,530 h.p. and enabled world speed record to be raised to 407.5 m.p.h.

1932    Design of the P.V.12 engine (later called Merlin) started.
(P.V. denoted private venture.)

1934    Merlin completed its first 100 hr run at 790 h.p.

1936    Merlin completed Service Type Test at 975 h.p.

1938    Building of Crewe factory started.

1939    First Merlin built at Crewe. Design and development work
started on 37.V.12 engine, later named Griffon. Building of
Glasgow factory begun in August.     1

1940    First Merlin built at Glasgow. First test run of Griffon.

1942    Quantity production of Griffon started.

1943    First Rolls-Royce turbojet-the Welland-passed its 100 hr type test; thrust, 1,700 lb, weight, 850 lb. Design of Derwent 1 started.

1944    Deliveries of Welland begun, for installation in Gloster
Meteor. Design and development of Nene started.

1945    Meteor powered with Derwent Vs broke world air speed record at 606 m.p.h. In September a Meteor was flown with two Rolls-Royce Trent turboprops, being the first turboprop aircraft to fly. By this year power of Merlin had increased to over 2,000 h.p.

1946    World airspeed record again broken by a Derwent-Meteor;
speed 616 m.p.h.

1947    Pratt and Whitney signed licence agreement for manufacture of Rolls-Royce Nene and Toy. Nenes in production at Derby. Trans-Canada Airlines started operations with Merlin powered Canadair North Stars.

1948    First public appearance ofAvon turbojet at S.B.A.C. Display. Belgium signed licence agreement for manufacture of Derwents.

1949    Dart turboprop type-tested at 1,000 h.p. B.O.A.C. intro-
duced Merlin-powered Argonauts (similar to North Stars).

1950    Australia signed licence agreement to build Nene and Avon.
Hispano signed agreement to make Nene and Toy.

1951    English Electric Canberra, with two Rolls-Royce Avons, made first non-stop transatlantic crossing by a jet aircraft the first of numerous record flights by Avon-Canberras.

1952    Sweden signed licence agreement to build Avon.

1953    Avon-Canberra flew from London Airport to Darwin, Northern Australia, in 22 hr 21 sec. Avon-powered Hawker Hunter established world air speed record of 726.6 m.p.h.; Avon-powered Supermarine Swift later raised record to 735.7 m.p.h. Ministry of Supply opened new factory at East Kilbride, Lanarkshire, to augment production of Avons for the R.A.F. (in addition, Avons were being made by the Bristol Aeroplane Co., Ltd., D. Napier and Son, Ltd., and the Standard Motor Company.)

1954    By May 1954 British-built Rolls-Royce gas turbines had completed 23 million flying hours; Merlins had cornpleted over 5.1 million flying hours in commercial service. By the end of the year over 185,000 Rolls-Royce piston and gas-turbine engines will have been built.


LHTEC (Light Helicopter Turbine Engine Company) is a joint venture between Rolls-Royce and Honeywell founded in 1985. The company was originally a partnership between the Allison Engine Company and AlliedSignal Aerospace . In 1995 Rolls-Royce acquired Allison, and AlliedSignal merged with Honeywell in 1999, and adopted its name.




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