Rolls Royce Griffon

The Engine On Display

The Museum's Griffon engine was obtained along with the Supermarine Spitfire, alongside which it is displayed. The description with the engine states "In 1939, Rolls Royce embarked on the design of a higher capacity engine than the Merlin. The Griffon is a V12 cylinder upright tractor engine, with left handed rotation, and liquid cooled."

Type / History

Type V12 (12-cylinder) inline engine
Manufacturer Rolls Royce
Introduced first flown November 1941
Primary users RAF
Number built 8,108

The development of the Griffon actually commenced in 1933, but was delayed when the Merlin proved to fit better the needs of planned aircraft. However, its greater capacity for development led to its replacing the Merlin later in World War II.

The Griffon was essentially a better designed engine, with internal pathways for oil flow, rather than external piping, and other features generating higher reliability, and maintaining a small frontal area in spite of its larger capacity.

The success of the Griffon is shown by is longevity, with aircraft like the Avro Shackleton remaining in service until the 1970s.


Model II (first model) 58 (powered Museum's Spitfire) 101 (powered Supermarine Spiteful)
Cubic capacity:   2239 (37.7 L)  
Maximum power: 1,730 HP (1,290 kW) 2,035 HP (1,520 kW) 2,420 HP (1,805 kW)
Weight:   1975 lb (895 kg)