The Reeves Goblin 2.45 cc diesel was the final product of Reeves Model Power Units, a very small manufacturer working from an address on Church Street in Shifnal, a small market town in Shropshire, England. The firm was established in 1946 by one Edward Reeves, about whom nothing is known apart from his name. During its final year in the model engine business, the firm traded under the revised name of Reeves Engineering Co. from a different address on Victoria Road, still in Shifnal. The Goblin was marketed from that address.
The Goblin made its appearance on the British market in around April 1952. It was clearly intended as a replacement for the 1.67 cc Reeves H.18 which had been introduced in around September of 1950. The Goblin was a relatively sophisticated design by the standards of its day, featuring disc rear rotary valve (RRV) induction allied to the then-fashionable 360 degree radial cylinder porting arrangement.
Unfortunately, the Goblin incorporated a number of significant design errors which greatly compromised its usefulness. For one thing, it employed a hardened steel piston running in a hardened steel cylinder, a combination which placed a premium upon the initial fit of these two components. But more seriously, its plain bearing crankshaft was woefully undersized, leading to a rash of crankshaft failures. In its one and only test appearance ("Model Aircraft", October 1952), the test example of the Goblin succumbed to this very malady, bringing the test to a premature end.
As a result of these issues, the Goblin appears to have remained in production for only some 6 months at most, being withdrawn before the end of 1952. It is consequently a very rare engine today. The full story of the Reeves Goblin will be presented in a future article on this site.