Further to my recent letter in respect of “Some Unusual Engines”, I respectfully Present a few further comments after further reading.
It is noted that Mr. Setright repeats a further error made in his earlier book “The Power to Fly” referring to the Bristol Hydra (1933) as a ten-cylinder radial. The Hydra W55, in fact, a sixteen-cylinder engine, listed in Flight Feb. 16th 1950 by a printing error as 18-cylinder. It was salvaged at Bristol’s about 1968 and rebuilt by 1970 by Bristol apprentices whose project is described in Rolls-Royce News, April 1970. The emergence of the sleeve valve killed it.
Reverting to the subject of G. B. Redrup-early in the ‘sixties I embarked on what I visualised as a series of monographs of certain aerti-engine designers based on the quotations of Voltaire “He who shines in the second rank is eclipsed in the first”. Encouraged greatly by Sir Harry Ricardo, I completed the first in 1969 on Dr. Spirito Mario Viale. Its circulation was limited to a few Interested parties, including Smithsonian, Science Museum, RAES and the Newcomen Society. The monograph was well received and won the approbation of Ricardo himself, Charles Gibbs-Smith and John W R. Taylor and formed the basis of two write-ups, one for popular consumption in BP Air and another, slightly more technical, in the Design Engineer.
Following this I hoped to write on Redrup but was never able to obtain much by way of biographical information. He appeared actively in the West County, the Midlands and Leeds.
L.J.K. has two references to Redrup in his admirable motorcycle history. One, however, refers to his engine as a radial (which it was), the other as a rotary (which it wasn’t).
My present information begins with his early aero-engine designs for Vickers, 1917 period, and more or less ends with Kendall’s proposed popular car with radial engine, which as you know never materialised. But where Redrup was born or when he died I have no clue. Maybe some of your readers could help?
Bristol Tramways once hoped to put me in touch with a retired employee who worked with him. But I heard no more.
Shepperton V. N. L. BUTLER