Rolls Royce 1986 Viper 535 Jet Engine
Built in 1978 the engine has completed 2000 hours in the air and has now been retired from service.
Whilst you need to err on the side of caution when it comes to reliability in the air, this engine should still have many hours of reliable use left in her yet, so we need to put her to work!
The engine came out of a BAC 167 Strikemaster jet, these aircraft are a military version of the Jet Provost and could be armed and used as light fighter jets.
Commonly seen in the middle East, the Strikemaster that my engine was in, served mainly in the Omani Airforce.
Eventually the engine was due for a full overhaul and this was deemed uneconomical.
The engine was decommissioned in approximately 2009 and sold by then owner North Wales Military Air services. Hawarden. The engine was bought by one of the UKs leading jet engine enthusiasts Justin Woolger.
Justin then had the unenviable task of finding a starter motor for the engine. The problem is that starter generators as they are called, are part of the airframe and remain on the Aircraft during an engine change. They are also constantly refurbished and so the only motors available are those with certification to fly and will set you back £3000+!
Justin eventually managed to find a motor that was powerful enough and turned in the right direction, the motor was modified to fit and now, with the help of an Altrax 650 electronic motor controller, the motor ramps up, drawing up to 1100 amps and creating 135 ft/lb of torque and starts the engine no problem.