Without question, the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine is one of the greatest piston pushers ever made. The 27-liter V12 was built in the 1930s and 1940s and would eventually go on to power allied fighter planes during World War II, such as the Supermarine Spitfire and P-51 Mustang. Not only did it sound incredible and have a higher specific output than any other aviation engine of its time, it helped win the Allies the war. So a functioning Lego recreation of the Merlin warms my heart.
The builder of this Lego Merlin engine is Ronald Tewes, whose YouTube channel is filled with fascinating Lego and miniature builds. In addition to the Merlin engine, Tewes also built a Lego Rolls-Royce seven-cylinder radial engine. However, it's the Merlin that's most exciting, since it powered both America's and Britain's most beloved fighter planes, the P-51 and Spitfire, respectively.
While Tewes didn't create an in-depth video of the Lego Merlin's functionality, there is a video from Beyond the Brick showing the engine working under the power of a small electric motor. While "running," you can watch the pistons, valves, and camshafts in action, since the engine features a skeletonized block and heads. And just like the real Merlin engine, the Lego version features little exhausts, which would normally stick out on either side of the engine compartment.
We've seen transparent engines and Lego engines before, but this is an incredible combination of both and one of the best we've ever seen. Obviously, the Lego version doesn't sound as good, since all you hear is the whine of a tiny electric motor instead of the real deal's eardrum-pummeling V12 thunder.
These sorts of Lego builds always overheat my brain. I'm currently having a hard time with the Lego Bugatti Bolide that my son and I are building and that comes with instructions. Lego doesn't make a Merlin engine set, so Tewes had to come up with this build in his mind and just imagining that is causing my ears to smoke.
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