R-2600 powered fighter?

Discussion in 'Engines' started by gjs238, Apr 23, 2010.

  1. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    Would it have been feasible to have built a fighter around the R-2600?
    Or scaled up/evolved an existing fighter to the R-2600?
    Examples include scaling up/evolving the P-35 or P-36/Hawk 75 to the R-2600. (Both of which evolved into R-2800 powered machines.)
    Could a R-2600 powered fighter have entered service earlier than the R-2800 powered fighters were?
     
  2. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    It depends just how far out on the "what if" branch you want to go.

    The planes that you refer to ( I think) used new wings, new tails, new landing gear and mostly new fuselages.
    In short they were new planes.

    As far as the R-2600 itself went, it was larger in diameter than the R-2800 but lighter. With Wright trying to develop the R-3350 and the Tornado engine at the same time ( and the head designer of the R-2600 banned from the factory because he was German) the R-2600 might not have gotten the development needed to keep up.
    It may have had a problem with turbocharging and almost all (or all?) production versions used single stage superchargers which in historical form limited the critical altitude to around 15,000ft at best.

    So you need a new airframe and engine development that the engine did not get historically.

    How far do you take the 'what if"?
     
  3. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    There was no reason why not to build R-2600 powered fighter plane.
    The Russians mounted equally bulky Shvetsov M-71s on Lavochkin Polikarpov hulls from 1941 on with good results. M-71 already in 1941 offered 2000 HP (for take off) thouhg - "only" 1700 for R-2600 of 1941.
    Among the possible hulls we could list F4F Wildcat, plus a number of (Allied) hulls. The all-new plane would've been better.
    The R-2600 was in production already in 1940, making that the main advantage vs. R-2800.
     
  4. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    Here is a little something to think about as far as aircraft engines are concerned. The R2800 has an enviable reputation as a WW2 and later, powerful and reliable engine. I am rereading Boone Guyton's book, "Whistling Death". Guyton was the primary test pilot for the Corsair and this book is based largely on data from his log book. During the development of the Corsair, which first flew in 1940 with the R2800 being the engine it was designed for, there were continual problems with the engine because it was under development also. On numerous occasions the engine caused dead stick landings for Guyton in the XF4U. As late as March 15, 1943, in a high speed run under military power at around 25000 feet in a production F4U1, the old bugaboo, number 13 cylinder, overheated, seized up and caused the engine to self distruct. Guyton missed getting it back to the runway by only a few feet. The plane was demolished and he spent three months in the hospital and there was doubt he would live or ever fly again. He did but the fact is that this incident took place a month after the Corsair first saw combat in the Pacific and that same issue had occurred a number of times before, both in the prototype and in production models.

    I wonder if the Corsair in the Pacific at that time was limited as to the time it could use military power? I wonder if that problem was peculiar only to the Corsair because of cooling problems or was it an issue with all R2800s until it was somehow solved? Was it just something that was lived with by operators of R2800s? I believe it was solved because later versions of the R2800 were operated in the Corsair at higher and higher MPs up to 75 inches in the F4U4, in WEP. Maybe the water injection solved the problem.

    The point of all this is that those recip engines used in WW2 were often rushed into service and sometimes there were issues which made the engine less reliable than desired. However problems with the R2800 and Corsairs were not limited to WW2. A few years ago, Paul Thayer, a WW2 vet and rather famous personality was flying a Corsair which had been renovated at LTV. The engine quit and the plane was badly damaged. Thayer survived the crash.

    I do know that the F6F was designed for the R2600 but the engine did not have enough power to meet the desired performance.
     
  5. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    Re: F6F - given the choice between available engines, R-2600 or R-2800, the choice seems clear.
    However, what of the period prior to R-2800 availability?
    Must the choice be limited to the R-1830 or V-1710?

    Re: Reliability: R-2600 powered Boeing 314 Clippers were criss-crossing the Pacific and Atlantic prior to 12/7/41.
     
  6. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    The work on the M-71 started in 1939, 5th prototype in Jan 1940 had modified crankshaft. Engine did not pass state tests until summer of 1942 but was not placed in production. Two of the four aircraft that did fly with it were bombers or attack aircraft. 10 other planes/projects were planned to use it but production canceled, why?

    Grumman themselves once proposed this but didn't go very far with it.

    You are right there, all new plane, with all the design and testing work involved.

    In production in what numbers?
    In production in what form?

    Given the time needed to tool up factories (months) and retool them does it make sense to expend the effort to tool up for an interim engine and airframe when you already have better planes and engines either on drawing boards or in testing that are not that far behind in timing?
     
  7. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Three years from 1st drawings to clearance for production - pretty cool, don't you think.

    Nothing wrong with that...

    Conventional wisdom says Soviets didn't have any spare factories to produce it.


    Because of engine, or because of airframe, or because of some other reason?

    In much greater numbers than R-2800 before 1943, for many planes.
    There is no need to retool Wright engine production line, they're already producing it.
    As for cutting edge designs, those ones have had drawbacks. F4F was cleared for CV operations in march '44 for USN, while P-39 was all but loathed by USAAC RAF. It took them till late 1943 to extract all potentials from P-38. So an interim design would've been vise choice.
    The P-40, F4F P-43 with R-2600 would've been 1st line fighters 'till Overlord ('till VJ day for non-NW Europe), even with R-2600 developed as historically. All of them very much within capabilities of US industry of 1941.
     
  8. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    I vote for the Fw-190A powered by a license built copy of the R-2600. This assumes the license arrangement can be made to happen. Or perhaps the Abwehr simply steals a copy of the engine blueprints.
     
  9. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Or P-51 with R-2600?
    No need to steal any blueprints :D
     
  10. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Not really, work started on the M-70 in in 1937. An 18 cylinder engine with the same bore and stroke as the M-71. The M-72,also with the same bore and stroke , was supposed to enter production in the fall of 1945 but was replaced by the ASh-73, the first of the series to go into quantity production and that was in 1947.

    No spare factories in 1941-42-43 I understand, no spare factories in 1944-45-46?



    I don't know but I think it never got off paper.


    Once again, not without a major increase in production facilities or major changes in priorities.

    Yep, they were producing it but Wright's production in 1944 was 22 times what it had been in 1939. "..Owing to the advances made in in manufacturing methods, and especially through the application of automatic special-purpose machine-tools, this was achieved with only 11 times the number of employees."
    The Whirlwind series was farmed out to licensed manufacturers, Most early models of the Cyclone were dropped. The bulk of the G-200 series (powered B-17s) were built by Studebaker in a brand new plant. AND, wait for it...., a Brand new government owned plant was built in Cincinnati Ohio. It was the largest single aircraft engine factory in the world at the time and built over 50,000 Cyclone 14s before switching over to R-3350s in 1944. 3 additional factories were purchase and reequipped in the Patterson area to aid production of the old plant.

    That is what it took to produce enough engines to meet the demand that was there historically. To produce thousands more Wright engines means that some other projects or factories weren't going to get done. Anybody want to cancel an R-2800 factory?

    And which planes don't get produced because of the change in engine factories?

    Or do we just limit production of A-20s and B-25s in 1941-42 to free up engines for these fighters?
     
  11. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Why? fatter engine, more drag, less power at 15,000ft and above?

    Am I missing something?
     
  12. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    There are 4 (four) designs in the excerpt - not clearing the issue :)

    Why would you need a new piston engine at the end of WW2, while being at side that is going to win anyway?

    Thanks for the insight :)

    While I think it would've been too much asking from Soviets (even prior Op. Barbarossa), or from Germans to make that extra 10 - 20 thousands of aircraft engines, the US was well able to so. How big was production of R-2600 -2800 combined - 200 000 perhaps (125k for R-2800 alone)?
     
  13. Markus

    Markus Banned

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    #13 Markus, Apr 23, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2010
    My thoughts too. Work on an R-2600 powered P-36 successor could have been done parallel to the work on the one with the V-1710 as C-W was an aviation heavyweight. The result would not have been a P-47 but you would have the a/c ready before December 1941.

    edit: If the P-36 successor get´s the R-2600, that also solves the question of who makes the additional engines. After all demand for the V-1710 would be much lower. ;)
     
  14. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    #14 Vincenzo, Apr 23, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2010
    afaik there were not neither experimental or air force backed project fighters with R-2600 so there were good reasons for this.
    imho a fighter with R-2600 don't give in time and performance real advantage in comparion of actual fighter of US.
    some writed that it's large, this maybe the problem for fighter installation, 55 inches more of the other 14 double row used on fighters, so imho they have not enough power for that drag.


    p.s. and more large also of 18 double row on fighters...
     
  15. Markus

    Markus Banned

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    Or there were bad reasons for not giving it a try. Like "fighters with the V-1710 and the allmighty turbosupercharger will reign supreme".


    The first R-2800 were not much more powerful than R-2600. 1800 vs 1600hp in 1939 and I assume if work on an R-2600 fighter starts it would start in 1937 when the R-2800 was not ready. The diameter of both engines is barely different; 55 vs 53 inches.
     
  16. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    The R-2600 twin radial was in mass production over a year earlier then the BMW801.

    From the German perspective it would be a good thing to have the Fw-190 available for the Battle of Britain. If nothing else the additional endurance of the Fw-190 would allow for better escort of bombers.
     
  17. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    maybe


    200 hp more it's best that 200 hp less, and the first R-2800 were used in that fighters?
     
  18. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    All were 18 cylinder radials, the first 3 used the same cylinder dimensions. ALL were by the same design bureau.

    Some American engines changed about as much and yet did not change their basic designation.

    How do you know you are going to win and how do you know what the Germans may issue next year. 1944-45?
    And the last named engine, the ASh-73, was what they used to power the TU-4 bomber (B-29 copy)

    The US might have needed yet another factory and by the time it was ready it might not have been needed for R-2600s. I don't have the figures for the Wright but for P&W the E. Hartford plant for R-2800s starting in 1939 made 2, 17, 5431, 7696,16816, per year and finished with 3819 engines in 1945.
    Ford, with ground breaking for factory in Sept 1940, made 264 engines in 1941, 6403 in 1942, 13337 in 1943, 24196 in 1944 and finished with 13437 in 1945. Factory was much enlarged twice.
    Nash started with 6 engines in 1942, went to 2692 in 1943, then 9259 in 1944 and finished with 5030 in 1945.
    There were also a Kansas City Plant that came online in 1944 and Chevrolet Also built R-2800s. I hope you get the idea. It took time, several years, to get a plant up and running at a decent output. Production was small in 1939-41 compared to later years.
     
  19. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    By 1941 the R-2600 was at 1700hp for take-off compared to 2000hp for the R-2800 and Wright was offering either a single speed stage engine, perhaps with added turbo and a two speed single stage engine. Pratt was offering single speed single stage engines with and without turbo, single stage 2 speed engines, and the two speed two stage engines that went into Navy fighters. This last engine offered hundreds more HP at 20,000ft and up compared to a non-turboed Wright engine.
     
  20. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    on this i want add this is true for army but not for navy the F6F was thinked for R-2600 and late change to R-2800, they thinked that with R-2600 was underpowered?
     
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