German World War I Coupled Engines

Discussion in 'World War I' started by Rivet, Mar 24, 2010.

  1. Rivet

    Rivet Member

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    #1 Rivet, Mar 24, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2010
    The Heinkel 177 of World War Two infamy was powered by a coupled engine design, the Daimler-Benz 610. It appears that this concept was not new to German aviation practice, having seen extensive use in WWI R-Plane (Heavy Aircraft) development. Lack of suitably powerful engines and the desire to reduce drag by burying the powerplants inside the fuselage led to the need for robust, lightweight power transmission. I have several views of the external layout of these gizmos, does anyone know of a source of images of the internal layout of these mechanisms? Location of patent drawings? Regards.

    Haddow, George W. and Grosz, Peter M., The German Giants: The Story of the R-Planes 1914-1919, (1962, 3rd ed. 1988), ISBN 0-85177-812-7 Definitive text on the subject with period German Army Airforce command structure information not found elsewhere.
     
  2. Rivet

    Rivet Member

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    #2 Rivet, Mar 25, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2010
    Through his association with Robert Bosch, Graf Zeppelin became an early believer in the potential of heavy aircraft as warplanes in 1913. His lighter than air ships had negative facets, knowledge of which Zeppelin was well aware of , expensive, time consuming to construct and highly flammable, Zeppelin saw the heavy multi-engined aircraft as the answer to the problem of how to deliver large weights over long distances with reliability.

    Several corporations were initiated with a view towards solving the problems associated with this pioneer effort. Many names associated with the R-Plane program became household names, their work during the Great War period leading to later developments, Claudius Dornier and Ernst Heinkel being two of them, Heinkel's star rose quickly; he leaving his association with Zeppelin to accept the position of chief designer of Hansa-Brandenburgische Flugzeugwerke.

    The gearing and clutches used in the power transmission of the R-Planes were developed by Graf Alfred Von Solen, who headed the Zeppelin subsidiary of Zahnradfabrik G.M.B.H., along with Swiss engineer Max Maag. All Reisenflugzeugen used the power transmission mechanisms designed and constructed by Zahnradfabrik.

    Any images or descriptions of the internals of the power transmission used in the R-Planes appreciated.
     
  3. Rivet

    Rivet Member

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    During the World War Two period German aviation considered the use of coupled engine power transmission in a form simular to that used by the World War One developers of the R-Planes. Junkers, Dornier and Arado all experimented with the concept.

    Arado Flugzeugwerke, G.M.B.H. fielded an effort using the coupled engine concept designed by their chief designer, Dipl.-Ing. Walter Blume, the Arado E. 654. This aircraft, built in prototype form and simular in outward appearance to the Ar 240. The major difference between the aircraft was the E. 654's use of two Daimler-Benz engines centally mounted in the fuselage, the engines inclined at fifteen degrees. Right angle gearboxes and drive shafts connected the propellers to the engines.

    Advantages of this heavy fighter design were the minimizing of drag caused by large engine nacelles on the wings and a greater concentration of mass at the center of gravity in a more protected position.

    Material aquisition problems and a lack of Air Ministry support cancelled the project in 1944.
     
  4. HealzDevo

    HealzDevo Active Member

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    Did they work better, than the He-177 Grief? I just ask whether they had flame problems like the WW2 Bomber...
     
  5. Rivet

    Rivet Member

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    Hello in Queensland- I have read of no failures of the large German aircraft of WWI due to engine heat causing the machines to ignite. The single major cause of failures was weather. As with all of the wood and fabric structures of the period they reacted badly by being wetted by rain or snow. I'd read of incidences of fuel supply lines failing in flight with mention that the problem was repaired in the air. Regards
     
  6. robwkamm

    robwkamm Member

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    i always found this a interesting topic. not much info out there. i read there was a 2 row rotory engine made in ww1 by seimans. cant find any info on that. was it coupled? or 1 crank case?
     
  7. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    DB610 coupled engines per se worked ok.

    Early models of the He-177 had poorly designed engine cowlings which caused engine fires.

    Junkers learned from Heinkel's engine cowling mistakes. The same model DB610 engines did not catch fire when installed in Ju-288 prototypes.
     
  8. Rivet

    Rivet Member

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    Hello, Rob in Fairlawn. Used to live in Union County.

    The common set-up for R-Planes engines was two engines set inside the fuselage at the center of gravity with a differential feeding a driveshaft to a bevel gear at the propeller. Late war Junkers designs had four engines mounted in the fuselage in an H-form feeding a common differential.

    Try and get a hold of Haddow's book, mentioned in the first post.
     
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