New acquisition: Klimov VK-1 jet engine

21 December 2016

This model from 1948 is one of the most widely produced jet engines in the history of aviation

The mNACTEC has acquired a Soviet-made Klimov VK-1 turbojet engine. This model, from the year 1948, is one of the most widely produced jet engines in the history of aviation.
 
The Klimov VK-1 engine was developed by the Soviet Union after the end of the Second World War, with the aim of equipping their MIG-15 ‘Fagot’ swept-wing fighter jets. The engine, designed by Vladimir Yakovlevich Klimov, is an evolution of the RD-45 engine, based on the British-made Rolls-Royce ‘Nene’ engine with centrifugal compressor. Mass production began in the year 1948.
 
Planes with jet engines revolutionised aviation towards the end of the Second World War. Immediately following the war, jet engine technology was widely incorporated by the allied powers, first in military planes and subsequently in commercial planes. The Klimov VK-1 is proof of the early implementations of this type of technology in military planes, in this case in the Soviet Union.
 
The success of this Soviet engine became apparent during the Korean War, when MIG-15 planes displayed optimum flying characteristics. With some variations, Klimov VK-1 engines were also added to the MIG-17 fighter jets and to the Il-28 and Tu-14 bomber jets, all three Soviet-made, and became one of the most widely manufactured jet engines in the history of aviation.
 
Due to the large number of Klimov VK-1 engines manufactured, in former Soviet republics it is still possible to find some in use with different non-aeronautical applications, for instance as sources of heat on landing strips or railways.
 
Collection of aviation engines

The mNACTEC collection of aviation engines is made up of engines of different technologies and configurations, such as radial piston engines, V engines or horizontally opposed piston engines, and by manufacturers includingElizalde, Hispano-Suiza and Rolls-Royce. The collection also includes other notable pieces such as a replica of the pulsejet enginedesigned by Ramon Casanova, which is currently on display in the Museum vestibule.