Unknown airstart unit

Discussion in 'Identification' started by Ferret01, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. Ferret01

    Ferret01 Member

    This airstart unit has been on the inventory at Twyford Waterworks since the Trust took over but is only listed as "airstart unit".
    The engine plate has suffered from excessive Brasso and is no longer legible.
    We had thought it may be a Ruston as we believe it to be the original unit from the 1934 installation of the big Rustons but Ray (Hooley) thinks not.
    Please use the links below to have a butchers and tell me what you think.
    It would be nice to be able to get some info to enable us to restore it to working order.
    Thanks all, Geoff.

    http://i803.photobucket.com/albums/yy31 ... gine_1.jpg
    http://i803.photobucket.com/albums/yy31 ... gine_2.jpg
  2. TangyeDan

    TangyeDan Active Member

    It's a Hamworthy 'Hestarto' set. 2 Stroke petrol engine on one cylinder, compressor on the other. Supplied by W.H.Allen as starting compressors with their engines, and no doubt by other manufacturers as well. Pics on my website of a unit that I used to own and now resides with another Forum member: http://www.tangye.org/gallery2/main.php?g2_itemId=1279


  3. petternut

    petternut Administrator

    Its with me though still some way down the list.
    I think Hamworthy used a code and sets ending in "ar" (Distar or Hestar for example) were single stage whilst those ending in "arto" (Distarto or Hestarto for example) were two-stage and would go up to 350psi and some higher.
    I'd be interested in any other examples that support or contradict my theory.

  4. Ferret01

    Ferret01 Member

    Unkown airstart unit

    Thank you both, gents.
    Presumably Hamworthy produced the air end for anyone who wanted one as our Ruston YWAH airstart unit is a "Distair".
    Next question is does anyone have any info on or spares for the W.H.Allen unit?
    It would be nice to have the original equipment in use with the "big" Rustons.
  5. lambe

    lambe Member

    Whilst Ruston used Hamworthy they also made their own units, both petrol and electric powered, IF have examples of both. On the Hamworthy units at Wortley forge there is a compressor that is 2 stage rated to 650 psi I am sure.
  6. Dazzla

    Dazzla Member

    I've got a compressor that was supplied to start a Brush opposed twin diesel. Funnily enough it's a Ruston compressor driven by a Lister D.

    A curious combination of makes.

  7. lambe

    lambe Member

    Not so much curious as a good example of how the S E industry worked together under the umberella of "British Oil Engines" and who's was best or cheapest for the job. You say a compressor set for a Brush, we have accsess to a set still in situ at present and able to run at full load(275 hp), this has US/Lister (was it Coburn or Briggs) engines with Ruston compressors and ruston bottles and a fine 2 stage 100psi Mather &Platt pumpset driven through David Brown increaser box.
  8. Ferret01

    Ferret01 Member

    Just to put a nice tail-piece to this one, had a chap visit Twyford last Sunday for the Open Day, who has worked for Hamworthy for many years and positively identified this as a Hamworthy, having worked on them in the past. Thinks he may have some old info somewhere and offered to see if he can find it and he is willing to advise me on repair/rebuild.
    Just goes to show, everything comes to those who wait!

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