Merlin's for Peregrines

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by futuredogfight, Nov 1, 2012.

  1. futuredogfight

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    What do you think would've happened, had the Whirlwind been equipped with Merlin's instead of the awful Peregrine engine?
     
  2. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    Don't think that the Peregrines were "awful". Just under-developed.

    If they had been designed around Merlins from the beginning, Whirlwinds probably would have remained in production longer.
     
  3. ShVAK

    ShVAK Member

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    My dream what-if fighter right here.

    The high-altitude Welkin fighter did use Merlin 76/77's, had pretty respectable range and firepower but the U-2 esque high aspect ratio wing ruined it for anything other than that specific role.
     
  4. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    The plane would have been bigger and heavier to begin with. 300 Peregrines kept 2 squadrons of planes in service for two years after production stopped.
     
  5. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    I don't think its fair to call the Peregrine awful. As SHorthound points out a small no of engines kept 2 squadrons going for a long time.

    All organisations have base line assumptions they use for planning purposes and in the RAF it was assumed that 50 aircraft were needed to keep one squadron operationsal for 6 months. Approx 100 Whirlwinds kept 2 squadrons going for over two years which says a lot about the Whirlwind and a lot about the engines.
     
  6. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    What exactly was wrong with the Peregrine.
     
  7. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    Whirlwind squadron service
    137th from 2/41 to 6/43
    263rd from 7/40 to 12/43
     
  8. futuredogfight

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    Reliability issues
     
  9. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    The Merlin had its fair share of issues at that time too.
     
  10. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    A lot of engines did.

    The Whirlwind installation may have suffered a problem or two with cooling. The flaps in certain positions blocked airflow though the radiators and proper flap position while taxing was important to keeping the engines cool. An early problem solved by experience and proper training, just like many other aircraft and engine problems were solved by experience and training. What worked on one plane/installation didn't always work on another airplane/engine installation.
     
  11. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    What were the issues.
     
  12. Edgar Brooks

    Edgar Brooks Active Member

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    #12 Edgar Brooks, Nov 5, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2012
    The Peregrine could not run properly on 100 octane, without further development, neither could the aircraft operate at the sort of heights needed to combat the 109F, never mind the Fw190, since its ceiling was about 20,000'. Westland could not produce more than two Whirlwinds per week, and the airframe needed two engines to get 4 x 20mm cannon into action, while the Hurricane II could do it with a single engine.
    To have kept the Peregrine in production would have meant losing Merlin capacity, since there was only so much floor space available; either that, or delay the Griffon by several months, maybe years, and the Air Ministry wren't prepared to do either.
     
  13. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    The Peregrine could and did run on 100 octane fuel. It might not have gotten full benefit from it (been able to run at the max boost the fuel would allow without something else breaking/overheating) but they were not running them on 87 octane in 1942/43.
     
  14. Edgar Brooks

    Edgar Brooks Active Member

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    The Peregrine was cleared for 12lb boost, with 100 octane, in emergencies only. Since the decision to abandon Whirlwind/Peregrine production was taken in October, 1940, what was happening in 1942/43 is a mite academic.
     
  15. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    The Merlin III and even the Merlin XX were cleared for 12lb boost, with 100 octane, in emergencies only at least initially for the Merlin XX. While I agree that further development of the Peregrine would have been a waste of resources, statements like "The Peregrine could not run on 100 octane, without further development" do not help us get to the facts of what was going on.
     
  16. Edgar Brooks

    Edgar Brooks Active Member

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    According to the Ministry, Rolls-Royce were of the opinion that the amount of work, needed to get the Peregrine to full 100 octane rating, would have meant that, for every Peregrine produced, two Merlins would have been lost.
     
  17. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    That may very well be true. We have had a previous discussion on this, but it does NOT mean that the statement "The Peregrine could not run on 100 octane, without further development....." is true.
    Peregrine could and did run on 100 octane fuel and at higher power levels that could be obtained with 87 octane even it not at the boost pressures used by later Merlins on 100 octane fuel.
     
  18. Edgar Brooks

    Edgar Brooks Active Member

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    Then take it up with the Air Ministry; it's what's written in their files, and I'm not about to rewrite history.
     
  19. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    And the files cannot possibly be wrong????

    They wrote in the files ( or in one file) that the Peregrine could not run on 100 octane fuel and yet we have other sources/ books and so on that say the Peregrine was run on 100 octane fuel and give power levels and boost limits using 100 octane fuel.
    There are pilots notes telling the pilots to run the engines up to 9lbs boost before each and every take -off to check the boost limit device as part of the normal take-off check list. Are these ALL wrong because there is ONE note in an air ministry file?

    It seems that history does need to be rewritten. Or at least reconciled. If Air Ministry files do not agree with Air Ministry issued pilot notes which take precedence?

    Please note that I am not arguing that the Peregrine did not need additional development to use 15lb off boost or higher and may have needed development to reach 12lbs of boost. But with 87 octane it was limited to 6.75lb boost and we know it used at 9lbs boost.
     
  20. Edgar Brooks

    Edgar Brooks Active Member

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    #20 Edgar Brooks, Nov 6, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2012
    It was considered, by Rolls-Royce, that to get the Peregrine to a full 100 octane rating, would take too much work; unfortunately I missed out the part about "full" octane rating, which rather wrecked the whole gist of it, sorry about that. The file does not say that the engine couldn't use 100 octane, just that it couldn't use it to its full potential; it also says that 12lb boost was only to be used in an emergency, and emergency usually meant 5 minutes maximum.
    No, they can't, because they only contain the recorded words of individuals, which are open to view by any visitor to the National Archives. The files record what was said by Rolls-Royce, Dowding, Petter, a Squadron C.O., and the government's Minister for Air, all of which led, inexorably, to the death of the Whirlwind. Individuals can lie, of course, but that's a dangerous game to play in time of war.
     
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