Rolls Royce Nene

The Engine On Display

The Museum has two Nenes on display, both partly cut-away to show their internal workings.

The description with the first simply states:

"5000lb Static Thrust Rolls Royce "Nene" Turbojet Mark 2-VH 1950. This is an early type of jet engine built under licence in Australia by the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation for fitment to the RAAF's De Havilland "Vampire" jet fighters".

But that with the second adds:

"In 1946 approval was given for the purchase of an initial quantity of 50 Vampire aircraft got the RAAF. The first three machines were British-built aircraft, an F1, F2 and FB5, and were given serial numbers A78-1 to 3. The second aircraft, the F2 (A78-2), was significant in that it was powered by a Rolls Royce Nene jet engine, rather than the usual Goblin. This paved the way for licenced production of Nene-engined Vampires by de Havilland Australia, which were identified under the A79 serial prefix."

As can be seen by its photos, the Vampire on display in the Museum is a Nene-powered "A79" model.

Type / History

Type Centrifugal-flow turbojet engine
Manufacturer Rolls Royce
Introduced first run 1944
Primary users Royal Navy, RAAF.

The Nene started as a growth development of the Rolls Royce Derwent engine, and doubled the thrust of this engine. However, with more sophisticated jet engines "in the pipeline" when it became available (such as the Rolls Royce Avon), it was not widely used. It did, however, power the Royal Navy fighters the Hawker Sea Hawk and Supermarine Attacker, and became the standard engine for the RAAF's Vampire fighters.


Maximum thrust: 5,000 lb (22.2 kN)
Weight: 1,600 lb (726 kg)