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OK, that’s slightly tongue in cheek but there is something quite sculptural about this incredible engine. B&W photo of a Bristol Centaurus engine

It is a 53.6 litre, 2600hp, 18 cylinder sleeve valve engine; the Bristol Centaurus, introduced towards the end of WWII and one of the largest (and yet incredibly compact) piston aircraft engines to enter production.

For me, there is an artistry in both the design and manufacture, from the three dimensional symmetry in virtually every aspect of this mechanical marvel to the enveloping embrace of those sinuous ‘arms’ that make up the exhaust manifold. So – what is it? Engineering or art?!

(All images are copyright to Noeline Smith)