Blackburne Tomtit

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Backburne Tomtit.JPG
The Shuttleworth Collection's Tomtit seen from the output (propeller) side. Valve pushrods can be glimpsed behind cylinder heads.
Type Air-cooled V-twin
National origin United Kingdom
Manufacturer Burney and Blackburne, Ltd., Bookham, Surrey
First run c.1922

The Blackburne Tomtit was a 670 cc V-twin aero engine for light aircraft that was designed and produced by Burney and Blackburne Limited. Burney and Blackburne was based at Bookham, Surrey, England and was a former motorcycle manufacturer.

Design and development[edit]

The Blackburne Tomtit engine was developed from Blackburne's motorcycle engines.[1] The first one adapted to aircraft use was the best performing engine at the Lympne light aircraft trials of 1923, despite its lack of refinement. The Tomtit was a modified version of the Lympne 696 cc V-twin, marketed specifically for flight.

The Tomtit could run upright or inverted and was the first British engine to fly inverted, in the ANEC I. The inverted configuration was more common, but the Avro 558 used it in the upright arrangement,[2] and the Avro 560 flew with both upright and inverted Tomtits.[3]

Applications (including early Lympne 1923 version)[edit]

Avro 558
Avro 560
BICh-3[4] (the world's first flying wing)
Darmstadt D-11 Mohamed[5]
de Havilland Humming Bird
Gloster Gannet
Gnosspelius Gull
Gribovsky G-5
Handley Page H.P.23
Heath Parasol
Parnall Pixie II[6]
Reid biplane[7]
Short Cockle[8]
Wheeler Slymph[9]


Data from Flight[1]

General characteristics

  • Type: V-twin four-stroke piston engine
  • Bore: 71 mm (2.80 in)
  • Stroke: 88 mm (3.46 in)
  • Displacement: 696 cc (42.5 cu in)
  • Dry weight: 34 kg (75 lb)


  • Power output: 16 hp (12 kW) at 2,400 rpm
  • Specific fuel consumption: 0.58 pint (0.33 litre) per hp per hour
  • Oil consumption: 0.035 pint (0.02 litre) per hp per hour

See also[edit]

Related lists



  1. ^ a b Flight 1924, pp. 338
  2. ^ Jackson 1965, pp. 212
  3. ^ Jackson 1965, pp. 215
  4. ^ Cheronovski
  5. ^ Flight 1925, pp. 371
  6. ^ Jackson 1960, pp. 399
  7. ^ Flight 1925, pp. 79–80
  8. ^ Jackson 1960, pp. 423
  9. ^ Jackson 1960, pp. 463


Douglas Light Aero engines from Kingswood to Cathcart.Page 106 Brian Thorby 2010 Redcliffe Press, Bristol ISBN 978-1-906593-25-4