From Air Commodore F. R. Banks
With reference to the first letter from Mr. C. E. Mills and regarding the Stromboli engine. I was at that time experimental engineer to Messrs. Peter Hooker and responsible for the development of this engine. The Stromboli was designed by a charming and gentlemanly Italian engineer, Ettore Lanzerotti Spina, and intended as an airship engine, before the country’s airship policy was finally abandoned. It was a vertical, six cylinder motor of 12 in. x 6 in. bore and stroke to give 1,500 b.h.p. at 900 r.p.m. and drive, directly, a 20 ft. propeller. The Stromboli had eight valves per cylinder (four inlets and four exhausts) and it was this valve arrangement that was the subject of Lanzerotti’s patent. In the early running, the light alloy crankcase, cast in “Alpax”, a silicon alloy, failed at all the main bearing diaphragms and an all-steel case was then designed and made by Peter Hooker. The highest power achieved was 1,475 b.h.p.
The Air Ministry wished the engine to be converted from petrol to the compression ignition (diesel) cycle, and I was in the process of doing this on a single cylinder unit when the whole contract was cancelled, in 1928.
London, S W7 F. R. Banks