Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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British Leyland Gas Turbines

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of Solihull

Part of the Truck and Bus division of British Leyland Motor Corporation

1967 Company formed from the Rover Gas Turbines company when Rover became part of the Leyland Group

The company concentrated on exploring the use of gas turbines in heavy trucks.

1968 Announced a 350/400 hp 6-wheeled heavy lorry powered by a gas turbine. It was intended that it should go into production in 1970. The gas turbine weighed half of that of an equivalent diesel engine[1]

1968 Launch of the T.J.125 turbo-jet engine [2]

1969 Exhibited the gas turbine powered-lorry

1969 Won contract from British Rail to provide the 350/400 hp gas turbine to power the APT on non-electrified lines[3]

1971 Dr Noel Penny resigned as chief executive; he still believed there was a future for gas turbines in cars[4]. Dr Noel Penny planned to set up his own company making gas turbines[5]

1972 Loaned 3 road tankers powered by gas turbines to oil companies[6] but they suffered from component problems, particularly heat exchanger failures, and within 2 years had all been withdrawn.

1974 The schedule for bringing the gas-turbine powered truck into production was slowed down[7] because of the need to develop a version of the engine operating at higher temperature, which would need new materials[8][9]. The company was closed; development work would continue as part of the new central R&D programme in British Leyland[10]


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. The Times, Sep 18, 1968
  2. The Engineer 1968/03/09 p251
  3. The Times Aug 01, 1969
  4. The Times, Jun 28, 1971
  5. The Times, Mar 15, 1972
  6. The Times, Feb 11, 1974
  7. The Times Feb 14, 1974
  8. The Times, Feb 15, 1974
  9. The Engineer 1974/02/07
  10. The Times, Sep 13, 1974