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Combustion Cubicle C5 is the largest of the combustion cubicles. Itís also the emptiest.

All that remains are the metal tracks upon which the test rigs were constructed. The windows of the viewing room can be seen on the left.

The three General Purpose Combustion Rigs used to be installed here.

"I joined the diesel section of the Naval Mechanical Engineering Division (NMED) - which like so many things in the MoD got renamed several times, ending up as the Marine Engines' Branch. I started in 1987, working mainly on Naval Diesel Engines in the Plant House. The diesels were housed in the C cubicles. The engines were often known by their nicknames - C1 was the Trident (12 cylinder Paxman Valenta or Ventura emergency generator for Nuclear Subs of the Trident Class), C2 held a Paxman Ventura that I used for trials on submarine turbocharging. Both those used the upper control rooms. C3 and C4 were not part of our domain and I think were empty. C5 was split into several smaller cubicles - your picture of the C5 cell shows the rails on the floor that held the engines, but what is missing is that each was in its own largely soundproofed chamber. The control rooms of the three "mini" cubicles were down at ground level along the windows. I think the main open area with the roller doors was C5a, and the three smaller cubicles were C5b,c and d, though the a,b,c,d might have been the other way. The one nearest C4 held the SSK (Ship, Submersible, Conventional, which was the supercharged 16 cylinder Paxman Valenta for the Upholder class type 2400 submarines). I am pretty sure that is the engine in the picture Mike Graddage sent in. To give an idea of size, Paxman Valentas are the diesels found in the old InterCity 125 trains. The cylinder had a 7 1/2 inch bore and the 16 cyl supercharged one produced about 1.4 MW of power."

"Next along was the "Smurf" (SRMH or Single Role Mine Hunter engine - a low magnetic engine) and then the "Dormouse" (A Dorman 6 cylinder). The engines were operated and looked after by our fitters who were based in the New Fitting Shop. The North end of the New Fitting Shop housed machinery, the South end workbenches for the fitters. The offices were for the PTO in charge of them and the leading Charge Hand for the workshop, I think."

"The large open end part of C5 was empty when I joined but later housed the Ruston RK270 - a beast of a 12 cylinder engine. that one was controlled from the upper control room. The rest of the upper control room was largely unused - but I did have equipment up there for applying condition monitoring to engines - including an old IBM PC ATX (with a colour display!)." - Eddie Kirkman

View west across Cubicle C5.
21|04|07 © Simon Cornwell 2007