1920 Hucks Starter

The Collection’s Exhibit

Was built in 1920 by the de Havilland Aircraft Company and rebuilt by the London Aero Club in 1952 when it joined The Collection.

The starter is based on the Model T Ford car chassis. A chain, driven by the car engine, drives a rotating shaft which is telescopic with vertical adjustment to accommodate the different heights of various aircraft and has a claw bar at its front end to engage with a dog fixed to the boss of the propeller. The starter is positioned in front of the aircraft and adjusted until the claw can be engaged with the propeller dog. It rotates the aircraft engine and when the pilot turns on his magneto switches and the engine fires, the telescopic shaft disengages itself from the propeller dog and retracts. The Hucks device has, of course, to be smartly moved out of the way before the aircraft can start to move.

The Hucks Starter began its operational life with the RAF in 1920 and remained in use until the 1930’s when various other starting methods were introduced.


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