XYZ Machine ToolsVero CADCAM Manufacturing SoftwareSubcon is an award winning portal for engineers to find new and used machine tools which are currently for sale worldwide including lathes, milling machines, EDM and die sinking machines, surface and cylindrical grinders, lasers, punching and nibbling machines, power presses, press brakes, rolls, guillotines, welders and compressors, both CNC and conventional.

Leading manufacturers featuring on the site include Mori Seiki, Mazak, Colchester, Bridgeport, XYZ, Dugard, Okuma, Mitsubishi, Myford, Emco, Haas, Trumpf, GF Machining Solutions, Deckel, Sodick, Huron, Hurco, Fanuc, Maho, Kitamura, LVD, Promecam, Takisawa, Fadal, Miyano, Strippit, Amada, Bystronic, Brother, Danobat, Cincinnati, DSG, Meddings, Nakamura, Lumsden, Ajax, Nisshinbo, Devlieg, Boxford, Edwards Pearson, Makino, Tornos, Hardinge, Daewoo, Whitney, Leadwell, Tsugami, Herbert, Ward, Boko, Jones & Shipman, Rambaudi, Webster Bennett, Harrison, Asquith. Bronx, Brown & Sharp, Citizen, DMG, Ona, Adira, Correa, Moline, Gildemeister, Ikegai, American, Kia, EMI-MEC, Denford, Komatsu, Hare, Fuji, Doosan, Chipmaster, Hartford, Kearney & Trecker, Kia and Yang.

The engineering and manufacturing news pages enable companies to keep up to date with the latest technological and business developments within the industry, and provide a valuable resource to help them optimise their own businesses.

Contact Us

Enquire about this Story:

New Haas for Long Parts at Retro Track and Air


Haas Automation Ltd
* required fields
Name *
Email *
Contact Telephone *
Please make sure you add your country code for non UK telephone numbers.
Mobile Number
Industry Sector
SubjectNew Haas for Long Parts at Retro Track and Air
To help prevent spam, please leave blank:

Please sign me up for the newsletter

We do not pass your contact details onto third parties and only use it for our own marketing
* required fields
Machines4Sale, Knockalls Farm, Mitcheldean, GL17 0DP

News Item

New Haas for Long Parts at Retro Track and Air
Enquire about this Story

Gloucestershire, UK-based Retro Track and Air has invested in a Haas CNC VF-5/40XT – a 40-taper vertical machining centre with an extra-long, 60 inch (1524 mm) table – to machine cylinder heads for the famous V12 Merlin aero engine.

Installed in Retro’s newly built facility beside the company founder’s family home, the VF-5/40XT is a snug fit, towering over an adjacent Haas CNC Toolroom Lathe, and working long hours under the supervision of Gavin Faulks, head of design.

As the company’s name suggests, Retro Track and Air specialises in rebuilding and maintaining winged and wheeled masterpieces from a bygone era. Housed in various outbuildings – as well as a hangar at a nearby airfield – are various single-seat racing cars undergoing rebuild and maintenance before the new season. There are also partly restored aircraft and aero engines, some of which are the property of the Royal Air Force Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

Gavin Faulks: "The Haas VF-5XT is perfect for machining the Merlin cylinder heads, designed more than 80 years ago by Rolls Royce. With all the parts we make for old engines, we work from drawings that are at least as old, which means we often have to reverse engineer components or best-guess dimensions, etc.

"The castings are made to a material specification called RR50 – created by Rolls Royce. It’s exactly the same material and part design as it was when the Merlin engine was first run, in the early 1930s. It would be relatively straightforward to modernize aspects of the engine design – to remedy small design faults – but the demand is for authentic parts, without any changes from the original.

"This particular batch of cylinder heads – seven off – will take us two years to finish and deliver to the Royal Air Force. Tolerances – between the arrays of bolt holes, for example – are 0.025 mm. Each face takes around a week to machine; the inlet/exhaust faces take another half a week. All the programming is done offline on OneCNC."

"The new Haas has enabled us to keep more of this type of work in-house, and not rely so heavily on subcontractors. As a company, that’s the general direction we are heading in. To do so means making an investment, of course, but the difference between the parts we used to get – or make in-house on old machines – is night-and-day. The repeatability of the Haas is excellent, and it’s very reliable and easy to use.

"Although we can’t change the design of the parts, we are machining them to a higher standard, which, in itself, is a big improvement."

Enquire about this Story
Return to News Overviews