Sunday, October 2, 2016

Radial Airplane Engines

giphy
According to my rule that if I see two postings about the same topic in two days that is an omen to write about that topic, I need to discuss radial engines that were developed for propeller airplanes. In fact, I came across five postings.

I'm still trying to figure out the details of how the connecting rods were offset so that they could all share the same crank. I was expecting to see fins on the cylinders because they leave the front of the plane open so that there is plenty of airflow over the cylinders so I assume they were air cooled. Maybe that is just a detail that isn't worth the effort to draw.

The article that has the video for the following screenshots says the 1941 P-47 Thunderbolt is "considered as the most powerful single pistol engine aircraft during the time." Not only is "single pistol" a spelling error, I'm sure it had several pistons. In fact, the title of the article, "This P-47 Has the Roughest Sounding Radial Ever" confirms the engine is a radial.

Screenshot
When it starts, you can see exhaust come out of the opening behind the engine that also allows the cooling airflow to exit. Judging from the exhaust flows, more than one cylinder on the right side is not firing. No wonder it sounds rough.

Screenshot
SupplHi posted
SupplHi posted
Women are trained to do precise and vital engine installations.
Photographer: Alfred T. Palmer, 1942.
SupplHi posted
Checking a P-51 "Mustang" fighter plane in construction.
Photographer: Alfred Palmer, 1944
Screenshot of the largest piston driven engine ever built from 10 Biggest Engines
Update:
John Abbott posted
Eddie Martinez I am surprised that they would let the lady on the right wear open shoes like that. I realize that safety issues weren't big back in those days. But, she could easily get her feet cut up.
Don Allen good tractor pulling and old school hydroplane boat motors.
[This is a Merlin V-12 instead of a radial engine, so I'm generalizing this posting to airplane engines. They are adding the shrouding to a P 40 Warhawk.]


Another animation of how a radial engine works.

An animation of a more complicated design that the comments criticized heavily.

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