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What was the best aircraft engine of the war?

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  • T. A. Gardner
    replied
    The P-38, and other US aircraft with a turbocharging system sound more like sewing machines. They are surprisingly quiet.

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  • At ease
    replied
    Of course, I don't reckon anything can beat a good "blow job", as the Me262's were referred to some time after their introduction to service.


    The Me 262 Stormbird: From the Pilots Who Flew, Fought, and Survived It

    By Colin D. Heaton, Anne-Marie Lewis, Barrett Tillman

    Major(later Brigadier General) Robin Olds "We called the damned things 'blow jobs' "
    https://books.google.com.au/books?id...%20job&f=false

    The German name for it was the "Schwalbe" or swallow.

    Blow job.....swallow.....oh dear.


    The aircraft in the following video is a "reproduction" version, not an original, and is powered by later generation engines but of the same configuration as the Jumo 004(i.e. turbo jet rather than the later and more fuel efficient/quieter turbo fan ) so the sound won't be too far from the original.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Me_262_Project



    It is IMO, but based on the input of Captain Eric "Winkle" Brown, as from my earlier post #83 that:


    the Me 262 “was the most formidable aircraft produced in World War II"
    Last edited by At ease; 25 Oct 18, 09:30.

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  • At ease
    replied
    But, IMO, big radials as seen here on the Grumman Tigercat(in this case the P&W R2800 also used in the P47, Hellcat and Corsair), especially those highly tuned and with the resultant sound of "lumpy" camshaft timing at idle, sound better than the very popular V12's such as the Merlin/Griffon/Allison/DB605 et al:



    This "lumpy" sound at idle(listen for it particularly at the very start of the video) is a compromise forced on the engine designer to allow the engine to produce extra torque at the (higher)rev range most used in combat or in high output situations like at take off, where the uneven sound smooths out(listen @20 seconds where it is smooth under full throttle).

    Highly tuned auto/race car engines often have similar characteristics, although modern fuel injection systems/electronics are making these much less cantankerous than they once were.

    Engine designers did not have access to these palliatives in the 1930's/40's.

    Every aircraft engine design is a compromise, as is aircraft airframe design.

    Some designers were better at it than others when it came to negotiating these compromises.
    Last edited by At ease; 25 Oct 18, 09:23.

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  • At ease
    replied
    No words needed:

    (except to say Click on the link that says:

    "watch this video on YouTube")

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  • Kurt Knispel
    replied


    To little to late. What is really extraordinary is how war can accelerate the introduction and manufacturing of new weapons and constant upgrades to existing ones in the "battle for superiority" over your enemy.

    One of the commenters on the above video posted this:
    The problem with the 152 is that by 1945 the Germans had no fuel to put in these planes, so they were just empty shells. I talked to a B-17 belly gunner, who flew on bombing missions in 1945, and stated he saw hundreds of German aircraft on airfields, but never saw a German plane in the air. When the Russians overran the Romanian oil fields in 1944, the German mechanized war stopped. The Germans built 1,500 ME-262 jet aircraft, but could only put about 30 in the air at the same time. Russia and the US had massive supplies of indigenous oil, while the Germans, Italians, and Japanese had none. Oil was a huge factor in WW2
    .
    Last edited by Kurt Knispel; 19 Oct 18, 15:10.

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  • Kurt Knispel
    replied


    Thanks At ease I think it worked

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  • CarpeDiem
    replied
    Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post

    Part of Bomber Command, not the DAF. The original post cited the DAF.
    462 squadron Raaf was part of 205 Group which was part of the WDAF, not bomber command. Perhaps you’re confused by the fact 462 was reformed later in the UK as part of bomber command. Perhaps you can provide a source to support your point?

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  • T. A. Gardner
    replied
    Originally posted by CarpeDiem View Post

    The bold part is incorrect as 462 Squadron RAAF's Halifax bombers were Merlin equipped.

    3809975.jpg


    462_Squadron_RAAF_Halifax_maintenance_in_the_Western_Desert_AWM_MEA0065.jpg
    Part of Bomber Command, not the DAF. The original post cited the DAF.

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  • T. A. Gardner
    replied
    Originally posted by At ease View Post

    Does the above bold statement apply to 1939, 1940, 1941?
    Pretty much. France, Belgium, Finland, etc., all ordered American aircraft with American engines. The Allison by 1941 was ubiquitous. Even in England both the P-39 and 40 were using it. Elsewhere both planes were in service.

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  • CarpeDiem
    replied
    Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post

    Actually, the Merlin was in the minority in DAF use. None of the bomber force used it. Less than half of fighters assigned used it. The most common fighter in use by the DAF was the P-40. The second most common was the Hurricane.
    The bold part is incorrect as 462 Squadron RAAF's Halifax bombers were Merlin equipped.

    3809975.jpg


    462_Squadron_RAAF_Halifax_maintenance_in_the_Western_Desert_AWM_MEA0065.jpg

    Leave a comment:


  • Gooner
    replied
    Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post

    Actually, the Merlin was in the minority in DAF use. None of the bomber force used it. Less than half of fighters assigned used it. The most common fighter in use by the DAF was the P-40. The second most common was the Hurricane.
    Sorry, but so what if the bombers used different engines than the Merlin? Although some Wellingtons may have had them fitted.

    As for P-40 versus Hurricane, arrivals in the Middle East and Malta between January '41 and September '42 were, respectively: 1,131 and 1,924 (plus 467 Spitfires)

    More importantly the Allies would have been SOL if they had to rely on the Allison V-1710 to power their defence against Axis bombers.

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  • At ease
    replied
    Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
    On the other hand, outside the European theater, the Merlin was somewhere between an also ran and a minor player in terms of usage. Worldwide, the engines that saw the widest use were the Allison V 1710 and various US radials. Even Commonwealth aircraft made by Canada or Australia, as two examples, ended up using American radial engines rather than British ones.

    The Merlin had nearly zero impact on the Pacific War, SWPA war, Eastern Front, and only a moderate one in the Mediterranean. The US engines were ubiquitous, the Merlin never was.
    Does the above bold statement apply to 1939, 1940, 1941?

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  • T. A. Gardner
    replied
    Originally posted by At ease View Post

    My post was not disingenuous, just accurate.

    You conveniently omitted to mention the Mosquito, which used the largest number of Merlins in Australia.

    https://www.airforce.gov.au/sites/g/...tion/dh_98.htm
    The Australians built a total of 208 (mostly the FB 40 = 178) that saw limited service late in the war. British use in the CBI eventually rose to 4 squadrons by March 1945. From use starting in February and up through November 1944 the Mosquito saw little service. There were serious issues with the airframe and the squadron (No. 47) using them reverted to Beaufighters for most of that period.
    So, the Merlin was a little used engine in the Pacific and SWPA.

    There was, for a short period of time, a US fighter group on Guadalcanal that was using some Packard Merlin P-40F (347th FG, 68th FS) for about six months after which they switched to P-38's. So, there were maybe a couple dozen at most of P-40F's in the Pacific for a short period of time.

    The termination of Lend Lease was the reason, not the increase in the amount of royalties, even though both events occurred roughly simultaneously.
    I'd say Packard's termination of production would have been more important. You can't buy an engine that isn't being produced.

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  • T. A. Gardner
    replied
    Originally posted by Gooner View Post

    Defence of Malta and most of the fighters of the Desert Air Force already make the impact of the Merlin more than a moderate one.
    The USAAF also used the Spitfire extensively in 43-44 in the Med.
    Actually, the Merlin was in the minority in DAF use. None of the bomber force used it. Less than half of fighters assigned used it. The most common fighter in use by the DAF was the P-40. The second most common was the Hurricane.

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  • At ease
    replied
    Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
    That's rather disingenuous, given that the RAAF didn't start getting Mustangs until November 1944 and that was in Italy. CAC built Mustangs started delivery in July of 1945 and only 17 were delivered before the war ended. Australian use of the Lincoln is pretty much all post war.
    <SNIP>

    On the whole, the Merlin was a rarity in the Pacific and SWPA during the war.
    My post was not disingenuous, just accurate.

    You conveniently omitted to mention the Mosquito, which used the largest number of Merlins in Australia.

    [.....]
    In 1942, the Australian de Havilland factory at Bankstown commenced production of a fighter-bomber Mosquito, the DHA 98 FB Mk 40. Initial delays were caused by the unavailability of Canadian birchwood, and Australian coachwood had to be substituted.
    [.....]
    https://www.airforce.gov.au/sites/g/...tion/dh_98.htm

    And, yes, given that RR jacked the royalties they wanted for each Packard engine through the rafters once the war ended, I can see CAC having to manufacture their own Merlins postwar.
    The termination of Lend Lease was the reason, not the increase in the amount of royalties, even though both events occurred roughly simultaneously.

    Regardless, open source information about the royalty payments actually paid/not paid is quite fragmentary.
    Last edited by At ease; 18 Oct 18, 09:48.

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