What if: Rolls-Royce Eagle XVI chosen instead of F

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by wuzak, Jun 19, 2012.

  1. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    When the Air Ministry asked for a fighter engine design in response to the Curtiss D-12 Rolls-Royce produced two designs - the F, which would become the Kestrel, and the Eagle XVI.

    The Eagle XVI was an X-16 with a bore of 4.5" and stroke of 4.75" giving a capacity of 1208ci/19.8l (compared to Kestrel's 5"bore x 5.5"stroke for 1296ci/21.25l).

    Initial testing was done with an adapted carburettor, but no supercharger. Once the supercharger from the F was adapted the Eagle XVI made approximately 500hp - similar to eary Kestrels.

    Airframe manufacturers looked on the X layout unfavourably, expecting that the pilot's view would be compromised by the extra width of the engine, so the F was chisen and became the Kestrel.

    What if the airframe manufacturers didn't get a say and the Eagle XVI was chosen instead?

    I believe Rubbra stated that Henry Royce preferred the Eagle XVI over the F.

    What influence does that have over the subsequent Rolls-Royce aero engines? Bearing in mind that the H was a 6/5 scale of the F, and became the Buzzard and was developed into the R for the Schneider Trophy racers.

    Would Rolls-Royce simply scale the X-16 - or would they tack on some more cylinders and make an X-24? Make a bigger bore?

    What of the next major development - the PV12/Merlin? Does that go back to the V12 layout, or continue with the X-16/X-24 layout?

    Some people may think that the Eagle XVI may have ended up like the Vulture. There is one major difference - the Eagle XVI did not use a master/slave rod system, using a set of fork and knife rods for pairs of cylinders, meaning that the top cylinders were offset from the bottom cylinders.
     
  2. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    Kestrel IA - 560hp @ 2700rpm @ 3000ft (unsupercharged).

    Eagle XVI estimate using Kestrel IA BMEP and piston speed - 605hp @3125rpm.

    Kestrel XXX - 720hp @ 2750rpm (take-off).

    Eagle XVI estimate using Kestrel XXX BMEP and piston speed - 778hp @3185rpm.
     
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