CompAir finds the UK’s oldest compressors

The results have been counted and the winners are in! Gardner Denver's quest to find the oldest working CompAir and Hydrovane compressors has been a resounding success with entries received from across the UK and today, the company is proud to announce the two winning entries.

Flying the flag for the reliability and durability of CompAir compressors is a 1936 CompAir Broomwade machine, which has clocked up an incredible 78 years of service and an equally amazing history. Slightly younger, but 'fighting fit' in its fifties is a 1963 Hydrovane compressor.

1963 Hydrovane

Entered for the customer by Gardner Denver distributor, Richard Coar from Airvane Compressors, the 51-year old Hydrovane unit is in daily operation at the University of Manchester, a site that has been at the forefront of engineering since it opened.

Pioneering the development of the world's first computer and achieving numerous firsts in both the space and aerospace industries, the research centre has 25 Nobel laureates among its present and past research fellows and was recently awarded a Nobel prize for engineering for the development of graphine.

The compressor is one of approximately 70 other Hydrovane compressors that are in use across the university, all of which are serviced and maintained regularly by Airvane Compressors.

1936 CompAir

The 1936 CompAir compressor is in daily operation in a research facility at a University in the North of England.

Entered on behalf of the customer by Gardner Denver distributor, Chris Hall from Air Compressors and Blowers North (ACB), the machine, which is located in an old World War Two bunker, is still serviced regularly by ACB and in fact, has just passed its annual maintenance inspection with flying colours.

As well as being a veteran of the compressed air world, the machine is also a seasoned traveller, having been stationed at a U boat service yard in Germany after World War Two before making the trip across the channel to be donated to a professor at the University in 1967, when the research facility first opened.

The machine still has all its original starters, which are filled with oil and, although this type of starter is no longer in use, it has been preserved on this machine.

Commenting on the success of the campaign, Colin Mander, Regional Director at Gardner Denver said, "Our compressors have always been built to last, but even we have been 'blown away' by the age of some of the machines entered, which are still in perfect working order.

"It really is testament to the UK’s great engineering heritage that these machines are still going strong after all these years; but it is also because the compressors have been serviced regularly, by factory-trained engineers, using genuine parts and the right maintenance techniques.

“It's that combination of quality engineering and regular servicing by an accredited agent, which remains as important today for our brand new machines as it was seventy years ago.

"We had many more fascinating entries and, although we could only have two winners, it would be a shame not to mention some of the other highlights. These include a Series 3 Landrover-based vane compressor driven by the vehicle's engine dating from the late 1970s and four CompAir Reavell BC6 compressors, each over fifty years old that are still working and supplying the production process for one of the oldest companies in Ipswich.

"Gardner Denver would like to thank everyone who entered and, although the competition is now closed, would still like to encourage other companies to send in their oldest compressor stories and pictures, which we will share on Twitter and other online channels."