P-40 with Merlin

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Marshall_Stack, Jul 28, 2006.

  1. Marshall_Stack

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    Was the P-40 with the Merlin any better than the Allison? I thought I read somewhere that the Merlin supplied for the P-40 was a low altitude version and only slightly better. P-40s started with Allisons, went to Merlins, then back to Allisons. What was the reason and did the Merlin have a different supercharger than what the Spits and P-51s had?
     
  2. V-1710

    V-1710 Member

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    Comparing the Allison powered P-40E with the Merlin powered P-40F reveals that below 15,000 ft. they perform pretty much the same. The F had a higher service ceiling (34,400 ft. vs. 29,000 ft.) and a better rate of climb, but that's about it. The F used the two-stage supercharged Packard built V-1650-1. Since the U.S.A.A.F. considered the P-40 primarily a low altitude fighter/bomber, and the Merlin was needed for the Mustang, most subsequent P-40's went back to the Allison. And, many of the Merlin powered P-40F and L models when removed from front line service were re-engined with V-1710's and used were as advanced trainers designated the P-40R.
     
  3. Twitch

    Twitch Member

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    I agree. The Allison was more than ample for the role the P-40 was used in. I never figured there'd be any advantage to sticking a Merlin in.
     
  4. Hop

    Hop Member

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    The V-1650-1 was a US built Merlin XX series, and was a single stage, two speed engine. The two stage engines were the 60 series and above, the major Packard versions of those were the V-1650-3 and -7

    AFAIK, the P-40 never got two stage Merlins, which had much better high altitude performance than the single stage engines, even the two speed ones.
     
  5. V-1710

    V-1710 Member

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    I think that is correct, the book I found that information in doesn't seem to recognize the difference between a 2 stage and a 2 speed supercharger. There probably wasn't enough room in the P-40's fuselage for a 2 stage supercharger.
     
  6. Marshall_Stack

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    If it could fit inthe P-51, couldn't it fit in the P-40? The P-51 seems more streamlined.
     
  7. V-1710

    V-1710 Member

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    I think a P-51 has a longer nose. I am no too familiar with a P-51's internal layout, but I know there isn't much room behind the Allison in a P-40. The glycol tank is back there, and plumbing to the radiators. With a 2 stage supercharger, you basically have 2 superchargers, one behind the other.
     
  8. V-1710

    V-1710 Member

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    I think a P-51 has a longer nose. I am no too familiar with a P-51's internal layout, but I know there isn't much room behind the Allison in a P-40. The glycol tank is back there, and plumbing to the radiators. With a 2 stage supercharger, you basically have 2 superchargers, one behind the other.
     
  9. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    This might be of interest
     

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