Best nine cylinder radial fighter

Admiral Beez

1st Lieutenant
6,394
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Oct 21, 2019
Toronto, Canada
A few to consider…. kudos to Bristol.

Mitsubishi A5M (Nakajima Kotobuki, licensed development of Bristol Jupiter)
Nakajima Ki-27 (Nakajima Kotobuki)
Fokker D.XXI (Bristol Mercury)
Gloster F5/34 (Bristol Mercury, planned 9-cyl Perseus)
PZL P.11 (Bristol Mercury)
IAR-15 (Gnome-Rhône 9K, licensed development of Bristol Titan)

The last seemed to have potential. Put on a three blade variable pitch prop and it’s on par with the A5M and Ki-27.

iar15-4.jpg


iar15-3.jpg


 
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GregP

Captain
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Jul 28, 2003
Chino, California, U.S.A.
The Wildcat, like the P-36, had a twin row R-1830 Twin Wasp IIRC?

We used to get a Wright-powered FM-2 at the Planes of Fame Airshow in Chino. It belonged to Tom Camp. Very interesting to hear a P-51-like supercharger howl combined with the single-row pocketa-pocketa-pocketa sound as it came past at 280 mph. Tough to mistaken that for a 14-cylinder sound.

Still, I had to go look up both just to verify my thoughts on it.

The details are tough to keep in mind over a long period of time if you don't refresh them every once in awhile.

Cheers!
 
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Shortround6

Major General
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Jun 29, 2009
Central Florida Highlands
That’s a rarity in this category. The eight gun, retractable landing gear Gloster F5/34 with its single row Perseus would have gotten us there.
It is a rarity, but you asked for the best, not a bunch of obsolete stuff.

The Gloster F5/34 is a bit of an unknown. It seems too good to be true.

RAF_Mohawk_IV_India2_1943.jpg

The Hawk 75A-4 as ordered by the French but 204 taken over by the British.
Curtiss numbers, other tests may vary.
max speed 323mph at 15,700ft, engine was rated at 1000hp at 15,000ft in high gear.
Normal gross weight was 5,750lbs, Normal range (105 US gallons) was 603mph at 248mph (might not count take-off and climb, silly but a common figure of merit at the time).
Climb to 15,000ft was 4.9 minutes.

And not as a good a fighter as the FM-2
 

Admiral Beez

1st Lieutenant
6,394
6,378
Oct 21, 2019
Toronto, Canada
The Hawk 75A-4 as ordered by the French but 204 taken over by the British.
That’s the one with the Wright GR-1820 Cyclone 9 engine? Was the design later modified to take the 14 cylinder, twin row R-1830 Twin Wasp, or did the French just choose a discount version?

Yeah, I’d think the actual Gloster F5/34 on a nine pot motor will struggle to pass 300 mph with armour, armament, ammunition and full gas. Why Folland thought a single row radial was going to cut it when everyone else‘s fighters in development had 14 cylinder twin rows, IDK. The F5/34, first flying in Dec 1936 should have been designed around the two row Bristol Taurus first run in Nov 1936.
 
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Shortround6

Major General
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Jun 29, 2009
Central Florida Highlands
Yes.

The Hawk 75 zig-zagged back and forth on engines.

A number of designs used the R-1820 and R-1830 pretty much interchangeably. It wasn't that the R-1820 was cheaper. It often depended on what the customer wanted. What was available from the engine makers when the order was placed and what features were available. The R-1830 engines used in the French A-1, A-2, and A-3 used single speed superchargers. The A-4 had a two speed supercharger.
The A-5 for China/India used R-1820s.
The A-6 for Norway used the R-1830.
The A-7 for the Netherlands used R-1820s
The A-8 for Norway used R-1820s, These later became P-36Gs and about 30 wound up in Peru.

The Hawk 75, Hawk 81, Hawk 87 may very well hold the record for most different engines flown in on basic airframe. If any plane beats it I would be happy to hear about it.
.
 

Shortround6

Major General
19,778
11,760
Jun 29, 2009
Central Florida Highlands
For fighters the R-1820 had a problem, or at least the G200 series had a problem. I haven't seen anything about earlier engines but the G200s had a problem with lubrication or oil. A problem has been noted but not explained. Some of the French and other users of the R-1820 Hawks repowered the planes with R-1830s including the French in North Africa after the North African invasion.
Since this basic engine (with a single speed supercharger) was used by the tens of thousands in B-17s, Hudsons (2 speed?) and other twin engined planes without being noted for a lubrication/oil problem we are left with a puzzle. Buffaloes with the same engine may have had a problem which might rule out a Curtiss only installation problem.
 

ww2restorer

Airman 1st Class
234
88
May 28, 2011
Doesn't matter!! You can have the best aircraft in the world, if the pilot is useless, he/she dead is dead.
 

GrauGeist

Generalfeldmarschall zur Luftschiff Abteilung
Yes.

The Hawk 75 zig-zagged back and forth on engines.

A number of designs used the R-1820 and R-1830 pretty much interchangeably. It wasn't that the R-1820 was cheaper. It often depended on what the customer wanted. What was available from the engine makers when the order was placed and what features were available. The R-1830 engines used in the French A-1, A-2, and A-3 used single speed superchargers. The A-4 had a two speed supercharger.
The A-5 for China/India used R-1820s.
The A-6 for Norway used the R-1830.
The A-7 for the Netherlands used R-1820s
The A-8 for Norway used R-1820s, These later became P-36Gs and about 30 wound up in Peru.

The Hawk 75, Hawk 81, Hawk 87 may very well hold the record for most different engines flown in on basic airframe. If any plane beats it I would be happy to hear about it.
.
Didn't one of the early Hawk prototypes have an R-1670 installed?
 

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