Merlin engines powered local tradition

Those of you that grew up in Seattle in the 1950s know about Slo-mo-shun V and the epic hydro battles on Lake Washington. Did you know that the hydroplane won the 1954 Gold Cup behind the horsepower of a Merlin engine? Actually, it was the same Merlin recovered off the bottom of the lake from the splintered wreck of Quicksilver after a crash in 1951. Now, some vintage airplane purists scoff at the idea of burning up perfectly good aircraft engines “in a boat,” but you may fondly remember that summer, Slo-mo and Seattle were on top of the world.

Four Merlins — in three Mustangs and a Spitfire — visited the Flying Heritage Collection Saturday. Hear them roar in the video below.

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Julia Turner and her father, Ed, toast as they try out a flight of beer and cider at Lake Stevens Brewing Co. when it opened last year. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
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