Pioneer's aircraft engine could rocket to £10,000
Designed by the innovator Edwin Roberts, this very rare engine will auction at Dominic Winter
To mark the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, auction house Dominic Winter is holding an extensive sale of aviation and other transport memorabilia.
Among the highlights is this Roberts Aero Engine from circa 1910, a very rare example of pioneering engineering from the early-20th century.
Founded by Edwin Roberts, Roberts Motors Ltd of Ohio, US, spearheaded the use of lightweight aluminum and secret magnesium alloys, based on Roberts' own conception.
The engines were initially used in early float-planes and hydroplanes, built by the nearby Curtiss Aeroplane Company for private and military purposes.
This four-cylinder, water-cooled two-stroke engine is made from lightweight aluminium and special alloys. An exposed gear-train is clearly visible, along with a water pump and other ancillaries.
An engraved maker's place on the 'number one' cylinder barrel reads "Model 4X 50hp No 135".
Surviving examples of this exceptional piece of engineering can also be found in the Smithsonian Institute and National Air & Space Museum, in the USA.
According to the seller, the engine is in good aesthetic condition, and will be sold complete with all internals and fitted with a Bosch Magneto type 4DU model two inlet manifold, upon a painted steel display frame.
It will auction at Dominic Winter with an estimate of £8,000-10,000.
The Special Battle of Britain 70th Anniversary Sale is scheduled to take place on May 13, with pre-sale viewings arranged for 11-12 May and the morning of the 13.
Dominic Winter is based in Gloucestershire, UK.
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Images: Dominic Winter