Sunday, October 2, 2016

Radial Airplane Engines

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.

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.

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
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.]
The Pratt & Whitney R-1830 1,200 hp radial aircraft engine as on display at the National World War Two Museum in New Orleans, LA.  Out the total 173,618 R-1830s that were built during the war, Buick made close to 74,198 of them in the government owned plant in Melrose Park, IL, west of Chicago.  This was 43% of the total.  The engines built by Buick were used exclusively on the 18,190 Consolidated B-24s until April 1944 when it was contracted to build R-1830s for the C-47.  It should be noted that Chevrolet was built R-1830s for the B-24 and C-47 also.   Author's [David D Jackson] photo.

Another animation of how a radial engine works.

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

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