The End of an Era

After the war, aero engines were difficult to sell, as so many cheap ex-ministry engines were available. This was a blow to Sunbeam, who never sold aero engines in any quantity again. In desperation Sunbeam greatly reduced its prices, offering a Dyak for only £295 instead of the normal price of £950, and a Manitou for £395 instead of £1,250. The first order after the war was for a small number of Dyak engines for Avro 504 conversions. In 1920 the Australian Aircraft Corporation ordered seven for use in 504's, some were used in coastal airships, others in motor boats, and a few others in cars.

Sunbeam attempted to continue engine production, even though there were no orders. In 1919 two Maoris were fitted to the R.33 airship, and another two to the R.34. The R.34 even paid a visit to Wolverhampton and flew over the Sunbeam factory. Sunbeam also supplied Cossack engines for the R.36 and R.37 airships. The last airship to be fitted with Sunbeam engines was the tragic R.38. It was sold to the U.S. Navy and crashed over the Humber estuary, on 23rd August 1921, killing a large number of the crew.

Louis Coatalen left the company in the 1930's to start his own business in France, and no other aero engines were designed here.

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