J.A.prestwick (J.A.P) V4 engine
An engineer John Alfred Prestwick founded J.A.Prestwick and Company when he was twenty years old, in 1895. The company was set up to produce scientific instruments and experimental apparatus for cinematography experiments.
In the early 1900s Prestwick became interested in motor cycles and in piston engines, and in 1901 designed and built his first engine, a single cylinder 3.5hp over head valve (OHV) that was installed in his first motor cycle in 1903, and used by the Triumph motor cycle company in their products.
Single cylinder motor cycle engines of 2.5 and 3.5hp were produced through 1905, during which J.A.Prestwick (J.A.P) single cylinder motor cycle engines were installed in many of the brand Marques of British machines. Some success was experienced with J.A.P powered machines in the 1910 Isle of Man TT with a first and tenth placing. However soon after the TT meeting, J.A.P powered machines took out first placings in three classes of trials at the 1910 BMCRC meeting at Brooklands.
Development continued through 1907/1908 with engines of various power outputs and cylinder configurations including the 6hp V twin cylinder J.A.P engine that powered the A.V Roe designed and built triplane that was the first all British aircraft to fly, and in late 1909 Roe used a 9hp V twin cylinder J.A.P engine to power an improved version of his tri-plane.
Prestwick realised that aircraft needed engines specifically designed for this application, and by 1910 had designed one air cooled V 4 cylinder and two air cooled V 8 cylinder engines with power outputs of 20, 35 and 40hp plus a water cooled V 8 cylinder 50hp variant.
Later Prestwick ended his interest in aviation and reverted to designing and developing motor cycle engines to satisfy an increasing demand for them. Interest in industrial engines eventuated that saw some 240,000 of these being produced during the WW2 years.
The Prestwick company was taken over by Villiers in the 1950s
One of the early Australian aviation pioneers Lawrence Marshal of Victoria, imported an alleged 35hp J.A.P. V4 cylinder engine from Britain to power the aircraft he had designed and had built in 1909. His experimentation led to him finally making three successful flights, the best, of 500 yard (457m) at a height reported to be 30 feet, on April 14 1912.
In the 1950s Ken Ballinger came into possession of the J.A.P. engine that is believed to have powered Marshal's aircraft. In the 1970s the damaged and unprotected engine was found on the Ballinger property by Andrew, the son of a friend of Ken Ballinger's from the SAAA Jim Fullarton, who undertook to look after the engine until in the mid 1990s, when after a visit to the Museum Ken Ballinger donated the engine.
It has since been restored and is on display.