About Us

Let us introduce ourselves.

Patrick Smart :

The reason I took this challenge on is my dad was a former Pilot officer in the second world war flying heavy bombers with 158 squadron  and 640 squadron earning a DFC and two green endorsements. He always praised the Bristol Hercules engines, as he said they always got us home.

Pete Irving:

I have been flying since the age of 16 , I joined the RAF to fly fast jets culminating in the Tornado F3. I now fly as a Captain with Virgin Atlantic Airways flying the Airbus A340-600.  I am a true petrol head and a very keen machinist and just admire the skill of the engineers who produced such works of art like the Bristol Hercules , there were no CNC machines back then!






34 thoughts on “About Us

  1. Hi Guys,

    I’ve really enjoyed following your progress.

    I’m the proud owner of Terry Jones’ Hercules, although I’ve been to busy to look at it since purchase – it’s been stuck in my garage.

    I need to dismantle it and wondered if I could get a copy of the parts you made to remove the cylinders?

    Grateful for your feedback,


      1. Hi
        Do you still have this starter motor? I am a volunteer at the Queensland Aircraft Museum in Queensland, Australia. We have a running Hercules engine – ex Hastings – that needs a replacement starter. Any hope?

        1. Hi Mike

          We only have enough to build up our engines but there is a few still available, I will keep an eye out for one.



    1. Hello,
      I have discoverd with the greatest interest this site.
      Since a while I would like to find a restoration project for a Bristol Centaurus.
      Perhaps, someone could help me to obtain good contacts or information.
      Thank you for your help.
      Sincerely yours

      1. Hi Jean
        We have a Facebook group called Historic Aero Engines “HAE” if you check that out I am sure there is
        contacts that could help you will your Centaurus.
        Kind regards

  2. Gentlemen, I congratulate you on your tremendous efforts!
    My interest stems from my late father who was a Wellington mk 14 pilot with 36 squadron during 1943 and 44.
    I am an engineer and can really appreciate the difficult task you have undertaken.
    When you are willing to have visitors to your engine runs, I would be delighted to attend.
    Best wishes
    Jim Anderson

    1. Hi Jim

      We will be adding a news section to this web site witch will give the
      next run dates, at the moment we are just about to fabricate a new stand for the 216
      and modify the trailer ready for the new year.

  3. I am looking to sell either of a pair of Hercules 264 motors. As there are two similar engines in our Museum , the notion is to raise cash on one to assist the build of a replica Renault 70hp aircooled V-8 Aero Engine. One of the many problems in reverse engineering components for this non-working model is Cylinders, so as the first ADC Cirrus four cylinder engine used ex Renault type cylinders a swap would be helpful if 8 pots could be found . Any comments or advice on value of a dry-stored 264 would be very useful.

    1. Hello again,
      Update on potential disposal of a Hercules 264.
      Serial No.210391 264 Series. This engine is available for sale or swap.
      Our Museum’s need for Cirrus Cylinders has now been resolved, although other Cirrus parts such as valvegear;early cyl heads etc are of interest,so the Hercules is now available for offers, based on uplift from Montrose , Angus.Engine is stored inside on a stand. Photos available.We have not attempted to rotate, as other stuff in the way at the moment ,but will investigate.Somebody please contact if this engine is of any interest,otherwise we will move it on elsewhere as exchange for some more appropriate exhibit to our Museum,having another 264 on site already. Thank you, and thanks for a superb site.

  4. Hi Gents, fantastic work.

    I wondered whether you could help me identify/confirm a piece of engine casting recovered from a WWII Halifax crash site. This aircraft has a significant family connection and I’m looking build a representation of the aircraft. if you could provide me an email address, I would like to forward a picture of the piece to see if you could confirm whether it’s indeed from a Hercules engine and what part.

    Many thanks,

  5. Pete, Patrick… it was great meeting you both on the weekend in Pocklington!

    Checkout photos uploaded here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152651540371887.1073741861.726031886&type=1&l=922ffffdeb

    If you also look at http://www.facebook.com/AussieAndyHardy there’s some video tthere as well.

    Cheers lads – super impressed, and old Tom Sayer of 102 SQN was still talking about starting your engine even as we drove back down the M1 at 1:30am this morning 🙂

  6. Hi Patrick and Pete, Merry Christmas to you and yours! Hope to see you in the New Year and I am planning a trip to your area in late JAN.

    I am having trouble with my old email address so please use this NEW email (which is in your email header at the top of this message)
    for ALL emails until further notice.

    Health and happiness,
    Merry Christmas, Karl

  7. Hi
    Do you by any chance have or know the whereabouts of Hercules XIV or XVIII and 3 bladed hubs, Spiders, pitch domes and blades for those Hercs please.

    1. Hi Dave

      I assume you are on the lookout for Karl from Canada , We are still looking into a possible crash site of a late Build Wellington which should have the same prop hubs on.
      Kind regards

  8. Really enjoyed looking at your rebuild records, I’m about to take on a Merlin. I have quite a few Hercules spares so if you need anything let me see if I have it?

    1. Hi Martin
      Thank you for your comment, good luck with the Merlin , let me know what parts
      you have for the Hercules.
      Kind regards

  9. So enjoyed seeing the Bristol Hercules engine today (07 05 16) at Pocklington. It brought back a lot of memories of my days as a fitter in the RAF; thank you. It is really nice to see the engine in such good working order, well done Lads! It ran very smoothly, a happy noise!
    Best wishes, Alan.

    1. Hi Alan
      Thank you for comment , we are pleased to turn petrol into happy noise!

      Kind regards


  10. Good morning chaps,

    I am a volunteer at the Gatwick Aviation Museum in Surrey. We have a few Bristol engines in frames and onbe of them, a Bristol 262, I am in the process of restoring to running order.
    Could I contact you for advice please? Your website here is a goldmine! Any idea where I could get hold of a propellor please?
    Please feel welcome to contact me on my email address.
    Many thanks,

    1. Hi Pippa

      We are down at Farnborough airshow on the 16th and 17th if you want to pop over and you can see a Hercules Running.

  11. Hi there
    Really enjoyed our chat today at the Farnborough Air Show. Sæl you on your way home in the quite heavy traffic around the M3. Hope you made it safe and sound.
    Here are the animations of those amazing alternative engine designs I was trying to find: http://m.imgur.com/gallery/bxzeN
    Sleeve walves are truly amazing…

    All the best

    1. Yes we enjoyed our Farnborough Airshow 2016, and it was good to talk to a lot of people that appreciate quality engineering, it was a bit slow
      on the way back up to North Yorkshire but we arrived back in good time, hopefully next time we will bring two Bristol Hercules to Run!

  12. Wonderful to see all the effort on the Hercules. One of the most inventive engines of all time.
    I am in the USA and would like to know of any Herc engines available here?
    My garage was once filled with Merlins and parts, but all have gone. Would it be correct to assume the Hercules requires Whitworth tools as well?
    What was the asking price of the 264 for sale?


    1. Hi Jack
      Thank you for you appreciation,yes we use whitworth tools along with special tools that we have copied from diagrams. I am not aware of any Hercules engines for sale over your side of the pond, but I am sure there will be some somewhere.As for the cost of a 264, it depends on the condition, if it’s Inhibited then the price will be high.
      Kind regards

  13. Hi Gents,

    I wonder if you might be able to assist me? I’m working on a project to create a single cylinder sleeve valve engine using parts from a Bristol Hercules or Centaurus radial engine. I have some engineering drawings of the engine but not a full set. At this point I am very much in the research stage, but ultimately if I can overcome the design issues I will be looking to purchase some parts.

    If you have any advice on where I might be able to procure a Cylinder, Head, Sleeve and Piston (preferably a matching set from the same engine), I would love to hear it!

    I shall be blogging the project and have included my blog site above.

    I look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Kind regards,

    1. Hi Mark
      We have made a demonstration unit to show how the sleeve valve works on the Hercules, please see the Youtube link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQSwD9zvkaE this unit now has all been machined up and painted ready for next years show season, as you can see your project is going to be big! we had to remove the maniton off the crank as it was too heavy to assemble by hand. We don’t have any spare serviceable parts that you may require except we may have some sleeve gears and transfer gears.

      All the best


  14. Hello and Good Morning!! Having just leaned of your Herculean operations I have just one request.. Would you PLEASE be able to join us at Blackbushe on July 1st and 2nd for the Airport’s 75th Anniversary celebrations and flying display?? We would not anticipate your taking part in the flying programme (!), but as an exhibit I can think of nothing more appropriate. Why? The Hercules must have been of the most predominant engines at Blackbushe in the fifties when it was pretty much London’s second airport and home to many Vickers Vikings and other Hercules powered aircraft..The 75th is to recall as much of the wonderful fifties SOUNDS and visions. You could add greatly to that objective. Please drop us a line and let us know your situation re 1 and 2 July, and of course costs involved. We’re doing the show for Help for Heroes, Dougie Dalzell Memorial Trust and Aerobility. Thanks guys Pete Brown

  15. Hi
    Is there any way to identify a Hercules for the numbers stamped in to the block?
    I have recently come in to ownership of a partial complete one, and I am trying to figure out which type it is.
    Cheers Niels

    1. Hi Niels
      Just send over some pictures of what you have and we will see if we can help.
      Kind regards

      1. Hi Patrick
        I can’t seem to find an email address on this page, can you send one and I will send some pictures

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