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What was the best aircraft engine of the war?

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  • #31


    As for best engine... I think the Pratt and Whitney R4360 blows the competition away. Every plane fitted with it was just unbelievably fast. The FG-2 Corsair, the P-47J and XP-72 to name a few (470 as a prototype with a 5,280 fpm climb rate). They blew the doors of their competition for speed.

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    • #32
      I see that by the data the speed is about 481mph, yet another top speed to put in the 451 to 490 bracket.
      ‘Tis said his form is tiny, yet
      All human ills he can subdue,
      Or with a bauble or medal
      Can win mans heart for you;
      And many a blessing know to stew
      To make a megloamaniac bright;
      Give honour to the dainty Corse,
      The Pixie is a little shite.

      Comment


      • #33
        Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post

        3. Lack of fuel. It doesn't matter that they ran on lower grade, easier to produce fuels when they were taking 3 to 5 times the fuel for a sortie that a piston engine equivalent would need. The Germans simply couldn't produce the fuel necessary to put them in the air in big numbers.
        According to pp97 of:

        The Jet Race and the Second World War

        by Sterling M Pavelec**

        (I have used this very useful author as a source before)


        [.....]
        Another problem faced by the Luftwaffe as a whole was lack of fuel. But this did not extend to the jets.....
        but as opposed to high-grade aviation fuel there were stockpiles of J2 even at the end of the war.
        [.....]
        The United States Strategic Bombing Survey reports that there was still 100,000 tons of diesel in reserve at the end of the war. (36)
        [.....]
        **Dr. S. Mike Pavelec

        Professor of Airpower Studies

        Air Command and Staff College (ACSC)

        Air University

        Maxwell AFB, AL

        http://www.historymike.com/Mikes_Pro...e/Welcome.html



        Fuel.png
        Last edited by At ease; 27 Jul 18, 04:13.
        "It's like shooting rats in a barrel."
        "You'll be in a barrel if you don't watch out for the fighters!"

        "Talking about airplanes is a very pleasant mental disease."
        — Sergei(son of Igor) Sikorsky, 'AOPA Pilot' magazine February 2003.

        Comment


        • #34
          Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post


          As for best engine... I think the Pratt and Whitney R4360 blows the competition away. Every plane fitted with it was just unbelievably fast. The FG-2 Corsair, the P-47J and XP-72 to name a few (470 as a prototype with a 5,280 fpm climb rate). They blew the doors of their competition for speed.
          As good as the "Corn Cob" (P&WR4360) was, it did not attain "in service" status on any aircraft before VJ day.

          (I have noted that the "Corsair with a Corn Cob" Goodyear FG2 was cancelled due to "lack of speed potential")

          Accordingly, it may fall outside of the scope of the discussion of this thread.

          In any event, interest in it waned very quickly for use as a fighter power plant, due to the looming introduction of jet engines which promised superior performance with less mechanical complications.

          Each "CC" had 56 spark plugs.....and meaused 71 litres capacity(also equipped with "blowers" of varying descriptions) to give a yardstick to compare with modern day auto engines.

          The "Corn Cob" ended up being used largely for aircraft with a lower speed potential, such as the Boeing B50(B29 successor) and C97 transport, where such use allowed a de-emphasis on outright power production which allowed lower boost pressure to be run, and generally removing a measure of strain from it's everyday use.

          In such circumstances, it proved to be "very reliable".

          It was obvious that breaking through the "500mph" barrier(let alone the sound barrier) was an exceedingly difficult task for a piston engine of any description.

          Large capacity/high power output reciprocating engines were thus eclipsed by the jet towards the end of WW2.

          There was only one jet engine, the Jumo 004, that allowed a fighter aircraft to attain speeds routinely greater than 500 mph in level flight(Me262), or carry a significant bomb load(Arado 234) at speeds making interception problematic for opposing fighters.

          Everything else would be playing "catch up".

          These jets would be referred to by the Allies as "blow jobs".

          As far as I am concerned, there is nothing like a good "blow job".
          Last edited by At ease; 27 Jul 18, 04:49.
          "It's like shooting rats in a barrel."
          "You'll be in a barrel if you don't watch out for the fighters!"

          "Talking about airplanes is a very pleasant mental disease."
          — Sergei(son of Igor) Sikorsky, 'AOPA Pilot' magazine February 2003.

          Comment


          • #35
            So the question was "what was the best engine?"; the replies tend to be "this was the fastest fighter". Ok, got that.
            Michele

            Comment


            • #36
              Originally posted by Michele View Post
              So the question was "what was the best engine?"; the replies tend to be "this was the fastest fighter". Ok, got that.
              OK, I'll play.

              Earlier, you mentioned the Merlin, or rather the aircraft powered by it in the main, as your leading candidate .

              One Merlin is good.....therefore two would have to be better, yes?

              Two Merlins, in their almost most highly developed form (130/131) powered the dh Hornet.

              These very highly developed 130/131 variants put out just over 2000hp each at combat(War Emergency) power.

              This was for 5 minutes or so at a time maximum.

              Yet two of them only endowed the Hornet with a top speed of about 470/480mph.....working purely off the top of my head here.....no sources for a change.

              That's a LONG WAY short of what the Me262 was routinely capable of i.e. routinely.....not just for 5 minutes.

              You need to face facts.

              Once the jet arrived the piston engine.....or rather, the aircraft mounting ANY piston engine, was struggling unless it outnumbered it's opponent, or was lucky enough to be waiting at a higher altitude.....or the opponent was taking off or landing - Rat Patrols.

              One on one the Me262 could dictate combat terms, except when taking off or landing.

              (if the roles were reversed, the Allied aircraft on the receiving end was just as likely toast as a 262 was in the airfield circuit)

              It made the US Army Air Force leadership and bomber crews fearful of what could come in the not too distant future if the war lasted much longer.

              Three Lockheed YP80's (not production machines - still prototypes) were rushed to Europe(one crashed in the UK) to represent the vanguard of the USAAF jet force.

              "Don't worry".....we have jets too"

              Instead of the dh Mosquito being able to fly unchallenged at high altitude over Germany, the advent of the jet put a stop to this, or at least made such PR sorties much more risky.

              At the same time, it allowed the Arado 234 to assume the mantle of uncontestable PR aircraft.

              On August 2 (from memory - I have posted about this a number of times in the old version of the forum) an Arado 234 made the first sortie over the Normandy beachhead at about 35,000 feet.

              It was not touched.

              It was not even approached.

              A new age had arrived.

              The Merlin was now from an earlier time.
              Last edited by At ease; 27 Jul 18, 09:35.
              "It's like shooting rats in a barrel."
              "You'll be in a barrel if you don't watch out for the fighters!"

              "Talking about airplanes is a very pleasant mental disease."
              — Sergei(son of Igor) Sikorsky, 'AOPA Pilot' magazine February 2003.

              Comment


              • #37

                Instead of the dh Mosquito being able to fly unchallenged at high altitude over Germany, the advent of the jet put a stop to this, or at least made such PR sorties much more risky.
                But in general though, the crappy 262 jet engines had crappy range and most PR Mosquitoes evaded the 262s. Even when they were intercepted, the 262 had nothing to write home about when it came to maneuverability. And as for the Arado, it was not invulnerable as some were shot down whilst flying missions (As were 262s), not only those being shot down on landing at their home base. They were OK in a straight line but again, rubbish in the maneuver.

                PR Mosquitoes flying from northern Italy, were given US flown P38's to protect them whilst on missions from the 262 threat. They soon abandoned the idea of an escort when it was found that the P38s couldn't keep pace so carried on with their PR work as before and with just as much success.

                The Merlin powered aircraft large and small and other aircraft designed by an ally, kept those aircraft competitive and at the sharp-end throughout the war. The German jets did what? nothing at all, didn't even gain temporary air superiority or supremacy for a few hours let alone days, weeks or months.
                Last edited by Dibble201Bty; 27 Jul 18, 16:39.
                ‘Tis said his form is tiny, yet
                All human ills he can subdue,
                Or with a bauble or medal
                Can win mans heart for you;
                And many a blessing know to stew
                To make a megloamaniac bright;
                Give honour to the dainty Corse,
                The Pixie is a little shite.

                Comment


                • #38
                  Merlin and Griffon follow on without a doubt. One must consider the overall package in my opinion. Performance, the flexibility of design and improvements, relaiability and it's overall impact to the fight and how it optimized the performance of each airframe it went into.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    There have been many times @ACG and elsewhere that the Junkers Jumo 004 has been referred to as "junk".

                    By implication, the equivalent Allied jet aircraft engines must be comparatively "benign".

                    From the pen of SqdLdr. William "Bill" Waterton, chief test pilot for Gloster, maker of the Meteor:

                    The Quick and the Dead - The Perils of Post-War Test Flying

                    Chapter 8 Experiments, Trials, and the later Meteors

                    [.....]
                    Then came the Mark III, with 2,000-pound thrust Derwent I engines(only 20 lbs more thrust than a 1945 built Junkers Jumo 004 engine {IOW as near as equal}- At ease italics), which equipped several post-war R.A.F. squadrons. They were very manśuvrable(sic), but at speed in rough air they “snaked” badly—the nose swinging from side to side. The controls were terribly heavy, and at cold temperatures over 20,000 feet the engines tended to “surge”. To the pilot this felt like a rapid series of explosions which violently shook the aeroplane and, if allowed to persist, would wreck the engines through overheating and vibration. The cause was a breakdown of airflow inside the compressors at high engine r.p.m. and low air speed, and the simplest cure was to reduce engine speed. This resulted in reduced power and ability to climb, and as the ’plane went higher into colder air, the surge recommenced and the cycle was repeated. Often a Mark Ill’s ceiling was reduced to 26,000 feet by this phenomenon.
                    [.....]
                    https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Dead-Pe.../dp/1908117273

                    Up until now, airframe snaking aside, I had believed that the Meteor(and centrifugal jet engines) had been a paragon of virtue.

                    Well, that's been the "party line", anyway.

                    I haven't, of course, mentioned the number of crashes of the Lockheed P80 during it's early development due to engine related failure(including the death of Lockheed's chief P80 test pilot Milo Burcham in August 1944 due to engine"flame out"), one of which resulted in the death of the USA's leading WW2 ace Richard "Ira" Bong on 6 August 1945.

                    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Bong

                    Recollection of that date would have been obscured by another newsworthy event that happened on the same day.

                    Later, engine reliability would improve, to make the P80(and the T33) a "darling" of the US inventory.

                    More development time would see to that.

                    The Jumo 004 was not to be gifted the same luxury.

                    Well, except by the Soviets, who had better access to high temperature materials that were in very limited supply in wartime Germany, and were easily able to extend the TBO to in excess of 50 hours, as per sources written by that prolific expert on Soviet aviation, Yefim Gordon that I have quoted in earlier threads.
                    Last edited by At ease; 02 Aug 18, 07:41.
                    "It's like shooting rats in a barrel."
                    "You'll be in a barrel if you don't watch out for the fighters!"

                    "Talking about airplanes is a very pleasant mental disease."
                    — Sergei(son of Igor) Sikorsky, 'AOPA Pilot' magazine February 2003.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by At ease View Post
                      There have been many times @ACG and elsewhere that the Junkers Jumo 004 has been referred to as "junk".
                      How many planes flying today use the Jumo 004? There's your answer.

                      In contrast

                      41665705570_17168b9a27_b.jpg

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Gooner View Post

                        How many planes flying today use the Jumo 004? There's your answer.

                        In contrast

                        41665705570_17168b9a27_b.jpg
                        Well, I do understand that due to the public money the UK is diverting to funding EU featherbedding and junkets, and money being paid to illegal immigrants for free stuff, I realise that the RAF is forced to rely on older aircraft to try to maintain a semblance of front line strength.

                        Before long, remaining "Battle of Britain" stalwarts will be called back into service.

                        Oh wait?!

                        ThreePlanes.jpg
                        Last edited by At ease; 02 Aug 18, 08:05.
                        "It's like shooting rats in a barrel."
                        "You'll be in a barrel if you don't watch out for the fighters!"

                        "Talking about airplanes is a very pleasant mental disease."
                        — Sergei(son of Igor) Sikorsky, 'AOPA Pilot' magazine February 2003.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Michele View Post
                          So the question was "what was the best engine?"; the replies tend to be "this was the fastest fighter". Ok, got that.

                          That depends on the definition. The Merlin and Griffon were certainly not the top engines for airplanes attacking ground targets in high threat areas. Likewise any engine that could leak coolant would automatically disqualify it best choice for shipboard use.

                          The U.S. Navy was committed to air-cooling before World War II and the British Navy learned the hard way to appreciate that decision. It’'s no accident that the Hawker Sea Fury was built with the air-cooled Bristol Centaurus.

                          The Fleet Air Arm was dissatisfied with Rolls Royce products. Technical problems with Merlin and Griffon engines caused many losses (ref: Crosley / They Gave Me a Seafire). The Seafire Mk XV test progamme was overlong and frustrating. In 1947 Rolls Royce re-designed the supercharger on the Griffon VI because of frequent failures.

                          The FAA rejected the Hawker Typhoon after brief trials, largely due to the poor reputation and unreliability of the Napier Sabre engine. The test aircraft crashed for that reason.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            EKB: That depends on the definition. The Merlin and Griffon were certainly not the top engines for airplanes attacking ground targets in high threat areas. Likewise any engine that could leak coolant would automatically disqualify it best choice for shipboard use.
                            But the FAA in the Atlantic, Mediterranean and Pacific used the Seafire as a successful fleet defence fighter. The Fairey Firefly was also used successfully by the FAA. both powered by Rolls Royce aero engines.

                            And as for 'High threat' ground targets, funny how DH Mosquitoes were ranging far and wide over western Europe, attacking anything by day and night on the ground, and not forgetting attacking the highly dangerous Jerry flak ships on anti-shipping strikes. Most D-Day and after, sorties carried out by many Spitfire and Mustang squadrons were ground attack sorties. I'm sure they didn't land first, get out, take a close butchers at the target to see how threatening it would be before attempting an attack. Perhaps you can find evidence of aborted sorties because the ground target was too threatening to attempt.
                            ‘Tis said his form is tiny, yet
                            All human ills he can subdue,
                            Or with a bauble or medal
                            Can win mans heart for you;
                            And many a blessing know to stew
                            To make a megloamaniac bright;
                            Give honour to the dainty Corse,
                            The Pixie is a little shite.

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by EKB View Post


                              That depends on the definition.
                              My message was ironic. It's like asking "what was the best tank gun" and being answered, "the best tank was the Tiger II". Yeah, the Tiger II carried the 88mm/71 gun, an exceptionally good tank gun, but that gun was carried by the Nashorn, too, not exactly an excellent AFV and indeed not even a tank. Evidently, the quality of the 88mm/71 gun does not depend upon the vehicle it was mounted on and upon the vehicle's overall performance. It should be equally evident that the quality of an engine does not depend on the performance of the airplanes it was mounted on.

                              Michele

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Dibble201Bty View Post

                                But the FAA in the Atlantic, Mediterranean and Pacific used the Seafire as a successful fleet defence fighter. The Fairey Firefly was also used successfully by the FAA. both powered by Rolls Royce aero engines.

                                And as for 'High threat' ground targets, funny how DH Mosquitoes were ranging far and wide over western Europe, attacking anything by day and night on the ground, and not forgetting attacking the highly dangerous Jerry flak ships on anti-shipping strikes. Most D-Day and after, sorties carried out by many Spitfire and Mustang squadrons were ground attack sorties. I'm sure they didn't land first, get out, take a close butchers at the target to see how threatening it would be before attempting an attack. Perhaps you can find evidence of aborted sorties because the ground target was too threatening to attempt.

                                World War II combat aircraft were disposable and not built to last. The civilian aircraft market was a better test for engine life, safety and reliability.

                                Aero engine sales to passenger and air freight lines shows that the Rolls Royce Merlin and Griffon were not successful commercially. Liquid cooled engines did not last as long as air cooled types. Gaskets, radiators, hoses, connections, etc. were prone to leaks. Besides the obvious safety hazard to passengers and cargo, the maintenance requirements of liquid cooling was considered excessive by most of the long-haul air carriers.

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