Experience over 100 years of automobile and aviation history with one of the largest collections of engines on display in the world.
The Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust provide an authoritative yet entertaining view of the company's rich history through exciting exhibitions, as well as their fascinating archive of documentation, reports and photographs and other artefacts. The Trust also hold a programme of lectures over the year and publish a series of historic and technical books. Tours in Derby include a visit to the Rolls-Royce Heritage Centre, formerly 12 Shop of the Light Alloy Foundry on Osmaston Road, and the Learning and Development Centre in Sinfin. Each site offers an immersive exhibition for visitors to enjoy.
The first of these is housed in the Trust’s premises on Osmaston Road, Derby, containing over 200 engines it is arguably one of the largest collections of engines on display in the world, with exhibits from before the First World War through to the modern civil large turbofans, together with an extensive range of engine technology items.
These exhibits chronicle not only the story of Rolls-Royce, but that of many of the ancestor companies which are now part of the present-day organisation such as Armstrong Siddeley, Bristol de Havilland, and other British companies no longer in business, as well as international companies from Europe and North America. Engines in this display have been assembled by the Derby and Hucknall, Coventry and Bristol Branches, with others being on loan from outside bodies such as the RAF Museum and the Imperial War Museum.
The development of the aero engine, over the last century, has enabled many of the major advances in aviation to take place and with Engineering being the “art of compromise” to meet the best balance of the customer’s requirements, it is not surprising that different engineers from various companies have designed different solutions to meet these requirements. It is the object of this exhibition to show the advances in propulsion technology and these different solutions, so our visitors can compare and contrast the various approaches, whether they be liquid or air-cooled piston engines or two or three shaft gas turbines.
The exhibition also includes some of the technologies developed over the past century for both piston and gas turbine engines. Items include crankshafts, reduction gears, superchargers and their drives, compressors, combustion systems and turbines.
To enhance and protect this unique collection the Rolls-Royce Power and Propulsion Collection and Museum are being developed to inspire and educate current and future generations to work in the field of power and propulsion. It is hoped that the facility will be used in the development of current Rolls-Royce employees and in the teaching of STEM subjects in schools and colleges and promoting the story to the public to intrigue and inspire.
The second exhibition at the Learning and Development Centre contains approximately a dozen Rolls-Royce engines ranging from Henry Royce’s first engine, the V12 Eagle of 1914, the Merlin and the RB211-22 through to the Trent 1000 of modern times.