Summary

The Sturtevant V8 aero engine was built by the B.F. Sturtevant Company of Hyde Park, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Its partly cast engine block is an interesting technological step to a fully-cast block introduced by Hispano-Suiza in 1916.

The Museum's Sturtevant V8 (construction No. 5052) is a Type 5, water-cooled engine delivering 140 horsepower. It was fitted to a Burgess Model 'O' pusher biplane made by the Burgess Co. at Marblehead in the USA. This aircraft had been designed following a visit by British government officials in 1915. The prototype is said to have flown just 21 days later. Some 36 Model 'O' aircraft were built but did not see active service with British forces. One example of the Burgess Model 'O' was purchased and imported into Australia by the industrialist Hugh Victor McKay of Melbourne. In 1917, McKay donated the Model 'O' biplane and engine no. 5052 to the Central Flying School (CFS) at Point Cook, Victoria, where they were used as ground training aids.

Following the First World War, this Sturtevant engine was purchased at auction by Mr Alan Hawker 'Bob' Chamberlain, a cousin of famous Australian aviator Harry Hawker. Bob Chamberlain fitted the Sturtevant to his 'Nautilis II' speedboat which is held in the collection of the Melbourne Maritime Museum. The Sturtevant engine was donated to Museum Victoria in 2005.

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