U.S. manufactured RR Griffon

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by gjs238, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    Having passed on the Merlin, what if Ford had begun mass production of the Griffon.
    Or, to concentrate on the Merlin, RR contracted Packard to produce the Griffon.

    So we end up with large numbers of U.S. produced Griffons.
    Where do we put all these beauties?
     
  2. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    I think Packard's hands were full with the Merlin.

    Ford was building R-2800s by the time the Griffon would have come along.

    The US government did build a factory for Continental to build IV-1430s. But it lay dormant until it was switched to Merlin production. Perhaps if the IV-1430 is cancelled early enough Griffons could be built there.

    As for airframes, can you go past more Spitfire XIVs and 21s? Except for the odd Seafire, of course.

    Maybe NAA decided to build a Griffon powere Mustang follow-on, having determined that the Mustang itself would require too much modification to take the Griffon.
     
  3. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    If Ford makes Griffons what happens to all the Planes that Ford built R-2800s powered ?

    and for a time line. Ford signs deal for R-2800 plant in Sept 1940, Makes 264 engines in 1941 (all in the last 3 months), 6403 engines in 1942, 13,337 in 1943 and 24,196 in 1944. That is a LOT of B-26s, P-47s and C-46s (Ford never made a two stage R-2800 engine) sitting on the ground :)
     
  4. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    The Plant did not lie dormant, it built R-1340 radial engines, among others.

    "By the time the United States entered WWII, Continental was producing the 450 hp radial, air-cooled engine used in tanks, landing craft and other military vehicles. Aircraft engines were also being made, most notably the R-1340 used in trainers. In 1942 the government built the 800,000 square foot Getty Street plant so all aircraft engine production could be concentrated in Muskegon. Wartime residents of East Muskegon soon became used to the roar of engines being tested 24 hours a day. Employment rose to 10,000, with 6500 at the downtown plant and 3500 working on “the Hill,” as the Getty Street plant was sometimes called. In 1943 Continental began making Rolls Royce Merlin engines, used in the P-51 Mustang"

    It may not have been used to fullest capacity but it doesn't seem "dormant", production of the smaller engines doesn't attract the same attention as the larger engines ;)
     
  5. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    Interesting, didn't realize someone else besides Packard was making them in the U.S. (or anywhere else outside the UK for that matter.)
     
  6. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #6 GregP, Dec 30, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2013
    Ford delined to build the Merlin. They declined on the basis thatit wasn't an American-designed engine and that THEY could build one of their own design instead.

    What would make anyone think they would build the Griffon, after having declined the Merlin?

    As for the Merlin, Rolls-Royce built 150,000, Packard (Detroit) built 54,700, Continental (Muskegon) built 800, and Commonwealth Aircraft Corp. (Australia) built 100.
     
  7. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    Obvviously, if American firms were to build the Griffon it would be for British needs. That's why Packard began building Merlins for in the first instance. The question does arise that if Griffons were being built, what American engines for American aeroplanes would not be built?
     
  8. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    I just question that Ford would have built ANY British engine since Henry Ford declined, rather vehemently.
     
  9. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    I believe he was quite willing to build Merlins - but only if they were for US use only. Which defeated the purpose of the whole exercise.
     
  10. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    Griffon powered F4U?
    Lots of HP with reduced frontal area.
     
  11. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    And better view over the nose.
     
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  12. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Lots of power when?

    Spitfire MK XIIs start being built in Oct 1942. By the end of 1942 178 F4Us had been built with 2000hp engines, and 1650hp at 21000ft.

    Griffons in the MK XIIs were good for 1720hp take-off and 1495hp at 14,000ft?
     
  13. R Pope

    R Pope Member

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    They could have hung a couple on the P-38....
     
  14. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    Nah ... Allison killed the Merlin P-38 and would have done the same to the Griffon variant.

    Though I'm an Allison fan, I'd still like to have seen a P-38 with 2-stage Merlins and know what it might have done in reaility.

    I'm of the opinion it would have been nice, but no great jump in performance. It probably would have done better at some altitudes and worse at others, depending on the Merlin and Allison variants being compared. It might have forced electric cabin heaters, though, which were severely needed in Europe.

    Once we started using Merlin in the P-51 in USAAF service, we probabloy should have investigated their use in existing airframes, even if just for our own knowledge. Then again, the war was expensive enough anyway, so maybe not. Tough to make a call some 70+ years later and make the right one given the circumstances at the time. Technology wasn't the same, and "development" meant something different then than it does now.
     
  15. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    Griffon P-38....

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. BiffF15

    BiffF15 Well-Known Member

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    Wuzak,
    I like it! Could you give it a proper bubble / blown canopy?
    Cheers,
    Biff
     
  17. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    Nice job Wayne. It might be VERY neat if they changed the airfoil to one more tolerant of high speeds.

    Without the turbos, maybe some offensive use could be made of the space. Maybe extra fuel with rear armor plate? I'd also like to see a couple or four wing root cannons that would fire inside the propeller arc.

    Not sure it could ever be made in the political reality of the time, but as long as Wuzak did a neat drawing, why not wish for it?

    What the hell, maybe fit a control stick, too!
     
  18. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    I can try!

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Cool stuff :)
    Any consideration re. cooling system and CoG?
     
  20. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    I have two thoughts on that....

    One is to have leading edge radiators on the inner wing. The other is to have ducts in the leading edge of the wing on either side of the boom feeding back to the radiator mounted in the boom, with an exit flap - possibly a sliding door - around where the turbo is on the original.

    CoG - have to find stuff that can be put in the rear of the boom.

    Maybe take the 4 0.50"mgs out and replace them with 2 x 20mm mounted at the lower rear and either side of the crew nacelle.
     
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