Sunbeam Aero Engines

Author(s): Alec Brew 

ISBN: 9781781557945
£16.80 £24.00
The definitive history of Sunbeam Motor Car Company, one of the great innovators of aero-engine British aviation and the R.34 airship.

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  • The definitive history of the Sunbeam Motor Car Company with over 181 mono illustrations, many never seen before

  • Exhaustive and detailed commentary on British aviation legends such as the R.33 and R.34 airships

  • The result of over 30 years of research in the Company’s archives

  • Of interest to aviation and historians as well as modellers and videogame enthusiasts 

The first great British aircraft engine manufacturer, the Sunbeam Motor Car Company, turned to the fledgling aviation industry in 1912 and was among the first to buy an aircraft to test their engines, flown by a full-time test pilot, the famous Jack Alcock.

Throughout the First World War, Sunbeam was a vital supplier of engines and aircraft, particularly to the Royal Naval Air Service. Consistently, Sunbeams were the most powerful British engines available and they were fitted to the first aircraft to torpedo an enemy ship, the only aircraft to fly at the Battle of Jutland and the first seaplanes to operate in the heart of Africa.

After the war, they powered the greatest of British airships, the R.34, the first aircraft to fly the Atlantic east to west, the first to make a double crossing and the R.33, the British dirigible with the highest flying hours.

As Sunbeam reverted to car manufacturing, their aero engines were fitted to a succession of land speed record-breaking cars, including the first to exceed 150 mph and the first to beat 200 mph. Ironically faster than any Sunbeam-powered aircraft…


BOOK ISBN 9781781557945
FORMAT 248 x 172 mm
BINDING Papeback
PAGES 160 pages
PUBLICATION DATE 17 September 2020
ILLUSTRATIONS 181 black-and-white photographs



Alec Brew is an aviation author with over thirty books published, including a dozen on local aviation history. The founder of the Boulton Paul Association, Brew organised the preservation of their Balliol cockpit, serial WN149, now incorporated in a full-scale model of the aircraft at an RAF museum. He is the co-ordinator of Wolverhampton's Tettenhall Transport Heritage Centre where a further two Balliol cockpits have been preserved and are to be restored.