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Tempest II due to fly at Eastbourne in August

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Tempest II due to fly at Eastbourne in August

Old 11th Jul 2022, 23:59
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Tempest II due to fly at Eastbourne in August

Unflown Hawker Tempest slated to perform at Airbourne 2022 - This is Flight

After many false starts, we could finally see an airworthy Tempest in the UK this year! If it's anything like the other Richard Grace restorations it's going to be a beauty...
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Old 12th Jul 2022, 08:02
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I'll be seriously tempted to take a trip down to Eastbourne for that...

I haven't seen anything about it having flown yet and I know it has been very close for quite a while... if anyone can make it happen...
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Old 12th Jul 2022, 19:19
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How long before the engine fails I wonder.....given the oil issue.

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Old 13th Jul 2022, 07:30
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Originally Posted by GeeRam View Post
How long before the engine fails I wonder.....given the oil issue.
Oddly enough that was exactly what went through my mind, let's hope not.
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Old 14th Jul 2022, 17:14
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Someone posted on Facebook regarding Centaurus engines and mentioned the original engine oil was made from fish.
Now I took that with a pinch of salt but wanted to ask if there is any truth to the story, maybe not literally but did the oil for the Centaurus contain a quantity of fish oil? Was there something unusual about that particular type of oil?
Whenever I mention the oil for the Napier Sabre that also seems to result in a lot of blank looks.
So can the Centaurus and Sabre be safely flown with modern oils?
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Old 14th Jul 2022, 18:13
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Originally Posted by uxb99 View Post
Someone posted on Facebook regarding Centaurus engines and mentioned the original engine oil was made from fish.
Now I took that with a pinch of salt but wanted to ask if there is any truth to the story, maybe not literally but did the oil for the Centaurus contain a quantity of fish oil? Was there something unusual about that particular type of oil?
Whenever I mention the oil for the Napier Sabre that also seems to result in a lot of blank looks.
So can the Centaurus and Sabre be safely flown with modern oils?
I've never heard of any engine lubricatiion system using a fish oil additive (not saying some didn't) but Air Atlantique's two DC6s (R2800 engines) definitely had a low percentage fish oil mix in their ADI tanks rather than conventional (60/40?) water methanol.
Edited post: I can't remember if the fish oil was for lubrication or anti-corrosion purposes.

Last edited by stevef; 14th Jul 2022 at 18:36.
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Old 14th Jul 2022, 18:40
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Originally Posted by uxb99 View Post
Someone posted on Facebook regarding Centaurus engines and mentioned the original engine oil was made from fish.
Now I took that with a pinch of salt but wanted to ask if there is any truth to the story, maybe not literally but did the oil for the Centaurus contain a quantity of fish oil? Was there something unusual about that particular type of oil?
Whenever I mention the oil for the Napier Sabre that also seems to result in a lot of blank looks.
So can the Centaurus and Sabre be safely flown with modern oils?
Never heard of the fish thing!
I doubt it's true.

RR didn't seem to think the Centaurus could be safely flown on anything but the original oil type, and the last person left at RR with responsibility for it prior to his retirement in the early 80's was critical of the civvie warbird industry at the time, when he tried to get them to band together to order another batch from Shell while they could.
I think the fact that they are increasingly have the RR predicted engine issues in subsequent years is proof of that.
The recent AAIB report of the Navy Wings loss of the T.20 hints at the oil issue.
Most US aircraft have been converted to US engines now, so there really are very few people still risking running the Centaurus. If you're lucky it will fail while on the ground but that's some risk. I'm surprised any sensible pilot even considers flying one now given the oil issue.
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Old 14th Jul 2022, 18:43
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Originally Posted by stevef View Post
I've never heard of any engine lubricatiion system using a fish oil additive (not saying some didn't) but Air Atlantique's two DC6s (R2800 engines) definitely had a low percentage fish oil mix in their ADI tanks rather than conventional (60/40?) water methanol.
Edited post: I can't remember if the fish oil was for lubrication or anti-corrosion purposes.
Interesting. Just goes to show most rumours have an element of truth to them.
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Old 14th Jul 2022, 19:22
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Originally Posted by uxb99 View Post
So can the Centaurus and Sabre be safely flown with modern oils?
I suspect there may be rather different lubrication considerations for the two engines (sleeve-valve radial vs inline).
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Old 15th Jul 2022, 07:49
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In my younger days we used to drain the mineral oil out of our Honda 50 and refill (after flushing) wirh Castrol 'R'.
Didn't go any faster but the smell was fantastic!!
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Old 15th Jul 2022, 08:02
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
I suspect there may be rather different lubrication considerations for the two engines (sleeve-valve radial vs inline).
Both sleeve valve but air-cooled vs liquid-cooled may make a difference.
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Old 15th Jul 2022, 10:16
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
I suspect there may be rather different lubrication considerations for the two engines (sleeve-valve radial vs inline).
Both engines are Engineering Madness though with far too many little cogs/sprockets etc just waiting to graunch up and ruin your day,and that is without even thinking of any potential sleeve valve related issues.
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Old 15th Jul 2022, 10:28
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Somewhat ironic that over the last 40 years or so there have been at least five Sea Fury accidents in Europe resulting from a Centaurus failure, yet there have been many more R2800/R3350 powered warbirds (Corsair/Skyraider/Hellcat/Bearcat/Tigercat/P-47/A-26) flying over here during that time without a single powerplant-related accident that I can think of, yet almost as soon as the UK sticks an R2800 in a Sea Fury, the engine blows a raspberry...
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Old 15th Jul 2022, 11:55
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Something I would be interested in is the number of hours flown by Centaurii over the past decade or so without a failure. There are a number of them around that are still in fine working order, or appear to be. Although not the same engine type, the Noratlas in France is still flying on two sleeve-valve radials. It would be interesting to see their engine data and experiences over the years.
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Old 15th Jul 2022, 12:56
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Originally Posted by Jhieminga View Post
Something I would be interested in is the number of hours flown by Centaurii over the past decade or so without a failure. There are a number of them around that are still in fine working order, or appear to be. Although not the same engine type, the Noratlas in France is still flying on two sleeve-valve radials. It would be interesting to see their engine data and experiences over the years.
Actually there's not so many Centaurus now flying compared with say 15+ years ago....and they are getting fewer.

The Noratlas doesn't use the Centaurus, it uses a licence built Hercules. The oil issue is specific to the Centaurus design, not all sleeve valve radials.
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Old 15th Jul 2022, 23:26
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While I understand the concerns, Richard Grace/Air Leasing have been maintaining and operating a Centaurus Fury safely for a number of years (G-CEBL) so have a lot of experience and expertise.
Having said that, the Tempest II being restored in Canada is going to be powered by a P&W R2800. (And it will share a hangar with an airworthy Mosquito B35!)
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Old 16th Jul 2022, 09:37
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Originally Posted by Fargo Boyle View Post
While I understand the concerns, Richard Grace/Air Leasing have been maintaining and operating a Centaurus Fury safely for a number of years (G-CEBL) so have a lot of experience and expertise.
Engine built by the same place as the Navy Wings T.20 (and this Tempest II, and any other Centaurus built in the UK as they are the only company doing it)......and all the expertise in the world (and there was quite a bit knocking around at Yeovilton from RNHF days) doesn't make up for using the wrong oil that the engine has not been designed for.
Graham Peacock has spent a lot of money on his warbird fleet, with Air Leasing and Weald Aviation over the years.
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Old 18th Jul 2022, 18:17
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Apart from cost (TBD) is there any technical reason why a new batch of the correct oil can't be cooked up today?
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Old 18th Jul 2022, 19:56
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Originally Posted by Kemble Pitts View Post
Apart from cost (TBD) is there any technical reason why a new batch of the correct oil can't be cooked up today?
No.
But, the cost (and subsequent storage for lots of years) is the issue, as the minimum quantity Shell will consider doing it is considerable.

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Old 18th Jul 2022, 20:01
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Originally Posted by Fargo Boyle View Post
While I understand the concerns, Richard Grace/Air Leasing have been maintaining and operating a Centaurus Fury safely for a number of years (G-CEBL) so have a lot of experience and expertise.
And in a recent-ish interview, Richard stated that when flying/displaying Graham Peacock's Fury, he's checking the oil pressure gauge every 30secs.....
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