AN aviation museum in Balcombe is marking the anniversary of a crashed World War Two plane by running its restored engine to visitors.

The Wings Museum acquired one of four Rolls Royce Merlin Mk XX engines from the downed Halifax bomber, which was shot down in late July 1943, after remains of the plane were discovered by a German historian near Rendsburg, Germany in 2010.

All seven crew of the bomber, including 19-year-old pilot Gordon Harry Brown, died in the crash.

READ MORE: Military veterans carry out dig to recover remains of Second World War heroes

The engine was brought back to Britain and underwent extensive repair work with the aim of making it run once more.

Now, 78 years after the crash, the engine’s unique “saxophone” exhaust will be heard once again - with the first public run of the engine since 2019.

Aaron Simmons, trustee at the Wings Museum, said: “It means a lot to the museum to have this engine here and to have it running.

“It makes you think about the sacrifice that these young men made for our country and seeing and hearing the engine run puts all the stories that you hear into perspective and gives you a cold chill down your spine.

“By running the engine, it means we will never forget what these young men did and all the young men and women that made the ultimate sacrifice during World War Two.”

READ MORE: Sussex's lost and abandoned RAF bases where pilots never returned

The aircraft’s exhaust was designed to suppress flames coming out of it to make the aircraft harder to see at night. It also gives the Merlin engine a deeper tone, a sound that Aaron explained is still unheard of at air shows today.

Those wanting to see the engine in action can visit the Wings Museum tomorrow (Saturday) from 10am, where other exhibits will also be on display, including the fuselage of a C47 Dakota - used by Allies forces during the war - for the public to walk through.

Engine runs will take place around 11:30am and 2:30pm, with tickets to the museum costing £8 for adults and £4 for children.

Have you got a story for us? Email or contact us here.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to keep up with all the latest news.

Sign up to our newsletter to get updates sent straight to your inbox.

You can also call us on 01273 021 400.