Aircraft Character Changes Between Inlines and Radials

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Downwind.Maddl-Land, Oct 13, 2007.

  1. Downwind.Maddl-Land

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    Just an idle thought to muse upon chaps…

    Why is it that some airframes seem to ‘suit’ inline engines while others have to be radial equipped to be ‘right’? To expand:

    Take the Lancaster: Mk 1 III with Merlins – Queen of the Skies. The Mk II with Hercules - very pedestrian despite lighter engines with a lot more hp but lower altitude ratings. One the other hand:

    Halifax: Early models (Mk Is, IIs Vs) decidedly average with Merlins but the Mk III with Hercules was transformed.

    Beaufighter: very competent with the Hercules radials, but a complete bitch with Merlins.

    KI-61: Very good with the Ha 60/Ha 160 inlines, exceptional as the KI-100 with the Ha 112 radial; ditto in reverse for the Fw 190A/D.

    LaGGs – Compare the early 1-3s (inlines) to the La-5s and 7s (radials) – no, don’t bother, there is no comparison! ​
    And I don’t just mean in straight performance either; reports I’ve read say that the KI-100 was immeasurably better in manoeuvrability than the –61 although the modifications were confined to the minimum, due to circumstances Japan found herself in at the time of the change.

    Any other examples or reasons offered?
     
  2. glennasher

    glennasher Member

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    Weren't the Curtiss Hawks originally radials, then switched to Allisons in the P-40s?? If so, that would certainly qualify.
     
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