The Shuttleworth Collection

The Client

The Shuttleworth Collection is an extensive collection of vintage aircraft, veteran vehicles, motorcycles and bicycles.  All exhibits are kept in full, working order and regularly flown, driven or ridden.  Shuttleworth puts on airshows from May to October and its road vehicles take part in parades, events and the historic London to Brighton Run.

The Challenge

Maintaining vintage engines for seasonal use can be challenging.  In many older aircraft the crankshafts are composed of multiple pieces and these can be very vulnerable to corrosion.  During the winter, when they are not being regularly flown and tended to, cold temperatures and humidity can wreak havoc on delicate parts and the oil which normally protects and lubricates moving parts drains away allowing oxygen and damp to start working on the exposed metallic surfaces.

The Solution

We have been delighted to supply Shuttleworth with regular deliveries of Vaporol, Vapor-Tek’s “Volatile Corrosion Inhibitor” or “VCI”.  They claim it is better than anything else they have tried at maintaining the integrity of their cherished vehicles.  Even an extensive heritage collection only requires a small amount to protect all the exhibits through the off-season, so the fact we are willing to supply in quantities from 5L upwards allows them to buy just the amount they need to ensure the fleet will be ready to start up again in Spring.  Other products can be expensive, especially with minimum order quantities starting at a 200L barrel!

Vaporol, also known as a “Vapour Phase Corrosion Inhibitor” or “VPI”, instead of requiring direct application to metal surfaces, is transported via vapour and so prevents corrosion even in hard to reach or hidden areas.  In vehicles it works well via the oil system –  used as an additive it keeps classic engines pristine between occasional uses.  For seasonal laying up simply drain most of the oil, pour in a litre of Vaporol, turn the engine over a few times and it will remain protected indefinitely.  This method is perfect for classic cars, vintage motorbikes, racing vehicles and boats used for pleasure, all of which are used frequently during the season but may be laid up for several months at a time over winter.  When it’s time to bring back into use you just drain the Vaporol out, top back up with oil and you are ready to go!

The Benefits

At Shuttleworth a large number of planes need to be maintained in a state of airworthiness, many with no expectation of when they will next be used.  With Vaporol, the dedicated engineers can rest assured that every crevice of the precious engine is protected and, as it is compatible with most lubricants and fuels, there will be no need for onerous cleaning and stripping to remove it before starting up again.  With the oldest aircraft they usually opt to soak a couple of cloths in Vaporol and leave one in the exhaust, another in the air inlet and seal with a plastic bag.  Readying for flight is then as simple as removing the cloths before carrying out their pre-flight preparations.

Some of the aircraft at Shuttleworth are over 100 years old – the collection boasts the oldest aircraft in the world still in flying condition!  We are honoured to be able to assist in the preservation of these fine examples of our cultural heritage and proud to help keep Shuttleworth a living, working museum and so much more than just a static display.

About Vapor-Tek

Vapor-Tek produces a range of high-performance corrosion preventatives from our premises in Bolton.  As well as Vaporol, we offer a water-based Volatile Corrosion Inhibitor (VCI):  Aquavap has all the benefits of Vaporol in an aqueous formulation, which can be rinsed away if required.  Our contact corrosion inhibitor, Steelgard, is approved by the MoD and NATO and used by customers worldwide including Rolls Royce and Caterpillar on products from backhoe loaders to the nuclear submarine fleet.

Whatever your corrosion problem, we have a clean, simple and cost-effective product to prevent it.  For friendly advice, further information or to place an order call Vapor-Tek today on 01204 521795 or e-mail


Posted on

August 13, 2020

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