Ford built V-1650's?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by gjs238, Jun 13, 2015.

  1. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    What might have transpired had Henry Ford's attitude been different, and he went on to mass produce liquid cooled V-12's?

    From Wikipedia:
    In June 1940, Henry Ford had offered to manufacture 1,000 aircraft a day if the government would let him do it his way, and during a discussion with Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau Jr. regarding what the Ford company might produce, Ford's son Edsel tentatively agreed to make 6,000 Rolls-Royce liquid-cooled engines for Great Britain and 3,000 for the U.S.[2] However, at the beginning of July, Henry Ford stated that he would manufacture only for America's defense, not for Britain, and the entire deal was declared off. Members of the Defense Advisory Commission subsequently began negotiations with other manufacturers in an effort to place the $130,000,000 Rolls-Royce order,[2] and Packard Motor Car Company was eventually chosen because the engine's British parent company was impressed by its high-quality engineering. Agreement was reached in September 1940, and the first Packard-built engine, designated V-1650-1, ran in August 1941.[3]
     
  2. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    you might have pick up two months in the time line?

    Ford promised a lot, and the promise of 1,000 planes a day was a pretty vague promise, what kind of airplanes?

    2643.jpg
    Powered by a Ford V-8

    Or P-40s

    21tomahawk.jpg

    or the B-24s they did build?

    Packard had built V-12 aircraft engines back in the late 20s, they had built race boat engines and they adapted their last aircraft engine to a high powered boat engine that powered just about ALL American PT Boats and a very large number of the British ones. I don't know how much machinery they were able to swap around but Packard had been making V-12 and straight 8 automobile engines which means that, while these engines were nowhere near the size of aircraft engines the machinery needed to make them was larger than the machinery needed to make Ford V-8s. Maybe some of the lathes and grinders used to make the car engines could be used to make aircraft engine parts, maybe they couldn't.
     
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  3. Milosh

    Milosh Well-Known Member

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    Ford did build several thousand V-8 tank engines based on its V-12 a/c engine.
     
  4. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Yes they did, trying to figure out timing here becomes a problem as Ford lost time designing their own V-12 engine and then cutting it down to 8 cylinders. The problem comes in with trying to believe that Ford will actually be able to produce the Merlin much quicker or in greater numbers than Packard, or in greater numbers sooner.
    Packard had built 7,256 Merlin's by the end of 1942.
    Ford had built 6403 R-2800s by the end of 1942. Ford got over 14 million dollars to build a new plant and broke ground within days of Packard signing the Contract for Merlins (although Packard had been looking at drawings and a sample engine, once Ford gave them back). Ford sent engineers to the P W Factory in Connecticut and essentially duplicated it. Ford had NO trans-Atlantic communications problems dealing with P W.

    Ford might have done every bit as well as Packard or even done a bit better but expecting Ford to make a major leap in either timing or numbers in 1941 and 42 over what Packard did requires a lot of faith.
     
  5. kool kitty89

    kool kitty89 Well-Known Member

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    Might it not be more plausible that Ford could have gotten their own V-12 into production more quickly and efficiently than any licensed design had the Army actually gone forward and ordered it? (if nothing else it seems like yet one more area money would be better spent than their Hyper Engine projects, and certainly seems like a solid hedge bet for Allison production)
     
  6. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Ford actually did amazing well getting the R-2800 into production.

    Chances of Ford getting their own engine into production quicker than a "proven" licensed design? about zero.

    P W started design of the R-2800 in March of 1937. On Sept 13 1937 they ran the first 'first' engine (which included such things as an R-1830 reduction gear). Nov 18th 1937 sees 100 hours of running time. August 15th 1938 sees 1000 hours of run time.
    July 1 1939 sees the R-2800 complete a type test (at 1850hp) with 3300 hours of run time and 325,000 engineering man-hours in the project at that date. JUly 12th 1939 sees first flight in an aircraft. Nov 23rd 1939 sees the tooling list for production completed. Feb 12th sees both the 5000th hour of test run time completed and the bill of materials released to production. March 25th ,1940 sees first contract (production engine) complete it's testing. Ford signs on in Sept 1940 just under 6 months later.
    Ford was handed not only the plans for a viable/tested engine but also the plans/drawings for all the tooling needed to make it and the plans/layout of the factory floor (layout of machinery and flow of parts).

    According to most accounts Ford did not start work on their V-12 until they had seen the plans of the Merlin and a sample engine in June of 1940. Designing and getting an engine (high powered one) to pass a type test in about a year would have been a world record by a factor of at least 2. Nobody else did it in less than 2 years and most companies took around 3 years. This doesn't include putting it into production. Once you pass the type test you can move on to designing the production tooling.

    The Wiki article is a bit misleading. the phrase "Immediately preceding World War II, Ford developed an aircraft engine similar to that of the Rolls-Royce Merlin and Allison engines of that era." really means preceding Pearl Harbor. It does not mean preceding the invasion of Poland.
     
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  7. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    Ford struggled to make enough of the GAA V8 tank engine and early versions of that iirc had the usual teething problems. Going by SR6s timings for aero engine development the Ford V12 is going to be coming on stream just about the time that Packard and Allison were really getting into their production stride churning out an avalanche of reliable well developed engines. Mid 44 seems to be about the right timescale for a reliable Ford V12 coming into service but what aircraft will it go into. Does the US need another 1400 to 1600hp V12 in 1944 I cant find any new designs that used anything other than bigger and bigger radials and British new designs are using the Griffon and Centaurus. The Jet engine is coming as well.
     
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