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    Default Piston aero engine manufacturing

    Great movie about producing a V12 aircraft engine.

    YouTube - Merlin Engine

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    When they first fired it up I got a woody............

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    Packard redesigned it for mass production, built a new dedicated plant and churned out 56,000 of them all inside 30 months. Must of dumped most of the hand work.

    Read these few sentences and think about the numbers and the tiny stretch of time that went by.

    Must of been when the USA wasn't a bunch of air head whiners.

    J.O.

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    "Must of been when the USA wasn't a bunch of air head whiners."

    Yeah. Can't scratch your ass these days without a committe and a permit.

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    Smile Those were the Days!

    Can you imagine how busy the toolroom was when Packard was setting up for Merlin production? I suspect that overtime was "no problem" in those days.

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    Packard DID NOT redesign the Merlin for mass production. They "adapted" it to American manufacturing methods. The engines were built to the British standard with British spec hardware (for the most part)

    Packard's biggest challenge was to produce the thousands of tools and gages needed to build the engine using the drawings provided by RR, and they did an admirable job of it.
    Packard built aprox 1/3 of the total Merlin production worldwide during WW2.

    Once the production got up and running, they did engineer some very good modifications, some of which were adopted by RR.

    Anyone who is really interested in this topic should check out the Aircraft Engine Historical Society website AEHS Home

    Cheers
    Pete

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    I'll take your word for it Pete and stand corrected. Too bad Beverly Rae Kimes passed away, we could correct her too! (author of the huge Packard book Packard - A History Of The Motorcar And The Company)

    J.O.

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    As a young apprentice at NASA in the early 60's I came across a few pallets of two diassembled V12 aero engines sitting on the shop floor, one a Packard Merlin, the other an Allison. I marveled at the hand worked finishes apparent in both and the Merlin in particular. It was clearly more highly finished with more attention to detail than the Allison. Being a lowly hot rodder, I'd never encountered that level of finish in a mass produced engnine. This video touches on some of that work in the Merlin, it was fascinating to see how a small bit of that work was done so long ago.

    Not too long after that I learned why things were done that way and saw many other types of aero engines apart.

    How many are taught to draw file these days?

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    Default Love that Merlin

    This past summer my son and I were in Bowling Green, Ky for the NHRA Hot Rod Reunion and the only surviving Art Arfons built Merlin engined dragster stopped right in front of us for the Cacklefest on Saturday night.

    That was the coolest thing that I have ever seen on the dragstrip and I had goose bumps (really) when they fired it up about 30 feet in front of where my son and I were standing near the starting line.

    The sound is something to behold and the detail and finish just on the outside of the engine was marvelous, what a work of industrial art

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    I got a ride in a P51 a few years ago....If you think they sound good standing around one you should hear what one sounds like at about 400 mph.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moonlight machine View Post
    I got a ride in a P51 a few years ago....If you think they sound good standing around one you should hear what one sounds like at about 400 mph.
    I don't think I like you anymore.

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    Default Sounds like fun to me

    Quote Originally Posted by moonlight machine View Post
    I got a ride in a P51 a few years ago....If you think they sound good standing around one you should hear what one sounds like at about 400 mph.
    That would be the good stuff, eh

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    Me, at work....

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    Quote Originally Posted by RickWG View Post
    Me, at work....



    Was this plane at the Watsonville Air Show this year ???? Beautiful !

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    If anyone likes models, there is a running scale model of the Merlin that shows up at the Cabin Fever Model show in York,PA and at the NAMES show south of Detroit. This model engine took longer than 30 months to build!
    There is a model of the plane at Fantasy of Flight in Orlando Fl - look for their sign on Interstate 4 - a Gooney Bird, nose in the ground, with a dummy climbing down the escape ladder in the back.
    The model minus a running engine sits next to the prototype with it's engine.
    I mentioned to the fellow that built the model engine that I have seen a model plane without an engine.... that was the wrong thing to say!!!

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    Default youtube: Spitfire under bridge

    If you have old iron AND V-12 in your blood, this one will give you a thrill!

    YouTube - Spitfire under bridge
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xf3UtmHLKUU shorter/better sound

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    Default Packard and the Thread standards in the Merlin

    When Packard was first tasked with producing the Merlin Engine, they initially thought of "re-designing" it to use SAE specifications (Threads, bolts, etc), but because of Interchangeability problems which would arise, decided to start from scratch and build a "B.S." ( British Standard) tool room instead, making all the BSF, BSW, etc types of taps etc for threading parts according to the British Specifications.

    The Only parts that were SAE ( American) standard, were the locally acquired Superchargers( Webers, I think), which , being a stand-alone unit,(attachment) was not an interchangeability problem.

    How many were made overall? Fighters had one engine, but Lancaster Bombers had Four of them...and a lot of Lancs went down to AA Flak and other causes....the 56,000 made by Packards might be only a small part of the total.

    Regards,
    Doc AV
    AV Ballistics

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    I thought Lancasters had 2240 inch Griffons in them - but maybe that was something else.

    Rolls-Royce Griffon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    J.O.

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    To my knowledge the majority of Avro Landcasters were RR Merlin powered, there were a number of different versions of RR Merlins used in successive Lancaster models. A few hundred Landcasters were built with Bristol Hercules engines but they were a small portion of the 7000+ Landcasters built. Never heard of a RR Griffon powered Landcaster but I've been wrong before.

    The Wikipedia RR Merlin article shows production numbers in the #9 footnote. According to it Packard built 37,143 of the 168,068 total production so the Packard production was a relatively small portion of the total.

    It still amazes me that virtually all of the "modern" reciprocating aircraft engines of WWII and beyond were essentially designed in the 1930s. There was evolutionary development after then of course but the basic bones were done that early and the manufacturing processes were figured out and tooled.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnoder View Post
    I thought Lancasters had 2240 inch Griffons in them - but maybe that was something else.

    Rolls-Royce Griffon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    J.O.
    John,

    Perhaps you are thinking of the Avro Shackleton, which used 4x Griffon engines, and was still in service until 1990 in Britain. I worked with a guy who flew in them in South Africa until the 1980's.

    Avro Shackleton - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


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