"Shotgun" starters vs electric

Discussion in 'Engines' started by Johnny .45, Apr 2, 2010.

  1. Johnny .45

    Johnny .45 Member

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    Hey, can anyone tell me details about which planes in WWII used cartridge starters, and which used electric? I know the F3F, F4F, F6F, Spitfire Mk II (and others), Dauntless SBD, all used cartridge starters, but the Spitfire later went to electric. Were most WWII fighters electric start, or cartridge? I think multi-engine planes were usually electric. I can't find a single video of YouTube of a warbird being started with a shotgun starter. All I know is that a slow-burn cordite charge fired, pressing a piston down, which had a ring gear that engaged another gear, which spun the flywheel. And that in pictures the thing looked to hold 6-7 charges. Is there anywhere I can see details and pictures of one of these systems? Footage of them in action? I'm obsessed with details, and I hate not knowing what an ACTUAL startup looked like on a carrier deck in 1944, you know? The BANG...clickclicklick..is just different from the electric starts.
    On that note, how accurate is the engine start scene in the original "Flight of the Pheonix"? Somehow it doesn't seem to add up with real life to me.
     
  2. engguy

    engguy Member

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    #2 engguy, Apr 9, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2010
    Don't know about the cartridge systems. I always liked the inertia starters, way better deal, if the batterys were dead you could hand crank it. I remember some R-1830's that had them in a DC3. Click click is the Bifilar counter weights rattling around, all radials do it.
     
  3. bobm4360

    bobm4360 Member

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    You've obviously never had to crank one! Gives you muscles in your moustache:lol:

    Bob (BTDT)
     
  4. T Bolt

    T Bolt Well-Known Member

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    I don't know much about the cartridge starters, but if you want to see close-up detail of one or how it looked to start an aircraft engine with one, watch the original The Flight of the Phoenix
    movie from 1965. There is a very dramatic scene near the end of the movie when Jimmy Stewart is trying to start the engine of the airplane the survivors of a crashed C-82 Packet had built from the wreckage. There's several close-ups of the cartridge
    starter and it shows it in operation. It's also a very good movie!
     
  5. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    From what I understand the way it was shown in Flight of the Phoenix is about as real as it gets. I've seen a Canberra start and it too used cartridge starters. BANG then a hum that got louder and louder until it changed pitch and you had a jet engine.

    The guy who owned the plane told me the cartridges were expensive as they are not mass produced anymore.
     
  6. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    Same with the B57s the VTANG flew back in the day , they carried quite a few when deployment
     
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