Seattle Royal Aeronautical Society

Development of the Rolls Royce and the Merlin Engine by Barry Latter, Aviation Historian

Location: Museum of Flight, 9404 East Marginal Way South, Seattle, Washington 98108-4097, Tel.: 206-619-5442

Date: 19 May, 2015

Time:  6:30PM


Beloved of pilots, engineers, hydroplane drivers and airplane enthusiasts the world over, the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine represents an inspirational tale of a technical and corporate relationship second to none.

Follow the talents and determination of the many real people who created the engine from a technical heritage which dates back to the very early days of the Rolls-Royce Company.

The contribution from companies on both sides of the Atlantic will be discussed as the fifty seven versions of the engine became the chosen powerplant for over twenty different airplane types in World War Two and beyond.

Note: By way of explanation, Barry intends generally covering the founding of Rolls-Royce, Arthur Rowledge and the Kestrel, the D-12, the “R” engine, the PV-12 to the production Merlin; Royce, Hives, Rubbra, Lovesey, Hooker et al; Supercharging; GM’s Kettering, Midgley and the 100 Octane story; Ford’s contribution; Packard production and the P-51 story. Overall production numbers and performance growth over the life of the Merlin design.


Speaker Profile: Barry Latter

Aeronautical Engineer, Aviation Historian and Docent.

Born and educated in Britain – engineer with Hawker Siddeley Group in England.
Emigrated to the USA in mid 1960s. Joined Boeing Commercial Airplane Company.

Engineer and engineering manager on 747, 767, 757 and Next Generation 737.

Became Chief Engineer 737/757 Airplane Performance & Airworthiness Group 1991.
and Chief Engineer 747/767 Airplane Performance & Airworthiness group 1995 – 2000

Docent Museum of Flight 2000 – present.

Volunteer Historic Flight Foundation 2009 – present.

Fellow Royal Aeronautical Society.