I have a question....

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by diddyriddick, Nov 2, 2010.

  1. diddyriddick

    diddyriddick Active Member

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    In looking at carrier aircraft, the preponderance of them are radials. Most of the Japanese and American birds were.

    The notable exception is the British. However, the Brits had a different overall design philosophy. Moreover, British procurement originated in the RAF until 39.

    So my question is....Did this reflect any inherent superiority of radials in an ocean environment? Were they less prone to corrosion? More reliable?

    Or was it just part of a larger picture
     
  2. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    This article deals with radial vs liquid cooled engines as a whole, but also goes into the background of the navy choosing radial engines. It's a start.

    aircraft engine development
     
  3. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Imperial Japanese Army aircraft like the Ki-43 were also powered by air cooled radial engines. So were most U.S. Army Air Corps aircraft. That's not surprising since neither Japan nor the USA produced a world class liquid cooled V12 engine during the late 1930s but both nations produced decent radial engines.
     
  4. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    Didn't the USN have an aversion to glycol storage onboard of aircraft carriers?

    The US was producing, by the standards of her peers elsewhere in the world, some pretty pokey inlines as they went into the 30s.
     
  5. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    I don't know if I would go that far. Italy and France also lagged behind in V12 development. Britain and Germany were far ahead of everyone else for some reason.

    Germany had the opposite problem. They lagged behind in air cooled radial engine development. Consequently aircraft designed for operation from KM Graf Zeppelin all used liquid cooled V12 engines.
     
  6. diddyriddick

    diddyriddick Active Member

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    Very cool! Thank you all, but a special kudos to Thorlifter for the link!
     
  7. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    could have had to do getting the ac back to the carrier. with a liquid cooled engine, one pin hole and you are going down. over land its not near as big a problem as if you were over open sea. over land you can belly it in or even land wheels down on a close friendly base. 100 miles from the carrier and you spring a leak....its a big ocean to find a little yellow dingy in. since carrier based ac were multi purposed...and would both dog fight and support ground units the radial made more sense.
     
  8. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    Glad it helped Diddy. :thumbup:
     
  9. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    #9 Shortround6, Nov 3, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2010
    What do you mean by " into the 30s" ?

    US had the Curtis Conqueror N-1570 of 600hp at 755lb or 845lb direct or geared.

    The Packard A1500, a 1530 cu in engine good for 525-600hp at 800lbs (direct?)

    The Packard A 2500, a 2540 cu in engine good for 800-835HP at 1210lbs (direct?)

    All in 1930. The Packards could be had with reduction gears and the A-2500 went on to be the engine that powered hundreds upon hundreds of PT boats, MTBs and MGBs.

    England was finally running the Napair Lion into the ground and Rolls Royce had the Kestrel and the Buzzard.

    Germany had the BMW VI series and lot of Junkers straight 6s and a few V-12s.

    Russia was still fooling about with Liberties but looking for a replacement ( found in the BMW VI)
    France had number of inline Liquid cooled engines but two companies, Lorraine and Farman, didn't go on to much success in the thirties. Hispano did better but the X and Y series V-12s weren't announced/introduced until 1932.

    In Italy both Fiat and Issota- Fraschini had inline engines that were good enough for the times but seem to have run out of development potential later in the 30s. The Fiat seaplane world speed record not withstanding.

    By 1934 the picture had changed a bit with the existing American engines fading out and both the Allison and Continental efforts being firmly in prototype status.
     
  10. looney

    looney Member

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    1st carrier fighters where not multi purposed, they had dedicated fighters (wildcats) and attack planes (SBD's) after midway Japanese fighters where decimated and the allied fighters could take on more jobs.
     
  11. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    That's what I meant
    if you now present your stats for contemporaneous radials, we'll see that they weren't matching inlines for output
     
  12. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Maybe I am having trouble with English to English translations :)

    What did you mean by "Pokey"?

    engines that had a lot of "Poke" or speed?

    or "pokey" meaning slow?
     
  13. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    Two peoples separated by a common language :)

    Over here, 'pokey' has to be taken in context, when referring to engines it means 'to have a bit of poke' (where poke = oomph)

    There's a couple of other meanings I won't bore you with, nothing to do with aircraft :)

    Sorry, lost in translation back there
     
  14. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Here in the US the "Y" makes the difference.

    A pokey engine or car is slow.

    An engine or car with "poke" is fast.

    To get back to the subject the big American radials of 1930 had 525-575hp at weights of 800lbs or just under.

    What they didn't have was the radiators which at the time were water filled. Glycol coolant was a big advancement because it allowed smaller radiators to be used with a significant savings in total weight. The smaller glycol radiators also meant less drag.

    Comparisons of the time usually noted that while the inlines were just a bit quicker in speed the radials offered better take-off and climb performance.
     
  15. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    Note to self
    colloquialisms don't usually travel well

    Yep, and the consignment to history of evaporative cooling; that's what did it for the Type 224, effectively
     
  16. antoni

    antoni Banned

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    The FAA had intended to use the Rolls Royce Exe engine which was an air-cooled X-configured engine. When development of the Exe was abandoned an inline engine had to be substituted in designs, hence the use of liquid-cooled engines. The use of such types as the Spitfire and Hurricane on carriers was not contemplated when they were designed and they were adapted for that use because Britain had nothing else.

    (Exe is a river in Devon. The pun was probably intentional.)
     
  17. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Not necessarily true. For instance the Me-109 had dual radiators. If one was damaged it could be isolated, allowing the aircraft to limp home at less then full power.
     
  18. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    yeah but most of your us planes werent set up that way...esp the 51.
     
  19. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Why not? What the Germans did with Me-109 radiators was just military common sense and required no special engineering technology.
     
  20. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Most 109s didn't have the cut off valves.
    Some accounts speak about service units scrounging the valves from wrecks and even racing each other to aircraft that crash landed away from an airfield.
    While the pilots and ground crew appreciated the safety benefit apparently somebody at the production level didn't.

    I may be mis-remembering but I think the valves were only on "F"s or early "G"s?
     
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