Spent a wonderful week with the BMW Foundation at Paretz, near Berlin. On that, more shortly. But was thinking while there that BMW, back in the day, had produced BMW 801 engines for e.g. the Focke-Wulf Bf-190 fighter that pilots like my father Tim would have faced in WWII. The most produced radial aero engine of the Third Reich period.
Then this evening I watched Jacqui Farnham’s Channel 5 programme Rolls-Royce: Dream Machines, which I had recorded while travelling. And discovered something I had never heard before.
That was that Henry Royce had moved to West Wittering – and at one point sketched out in the beach sand an early design for the R series engine, which powered Britain’s successful Schneider Trophy contender, and would later evolve into the famous Merlin engine …
… Which powered e.g. the Hawker Hurricane.
… One of which Tim was flying when he was shot down in 1940.
… At West Wittering.