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Big Round Piston Engines  
User currently offlineReedyreed From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 95 posts, RR: 0
Posted (9 years 10 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 2587 times:

Hello Folks! Just a little poll to see how many folks out there in aviation land would like to see & hear the roar of the Big Radial Engine's again! Mainly the Big P&W 4360 turning those huge 16ft 8in 4bladed props! This huge power plant powered over 20 aircraft in its heyday & had 28cyl which was refered to as the corncob engine. When you changed spark plugs you had quite a task as there are 56 per engine! Some of the aircraft using this power plant were: Howard Hughes Flying Boat,B-36,Martin Mars,C-74,KC/C-97,377 STRAT,C-119,B-35 just to name a few. We hear at the BAHF hope to have a few of these Big radials come to life once again as we move forward in our project. "Keep the Big Pistons Flying"

6 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineLTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13856 posts, RR: 17
Reply 1, posted (9 years 10 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 2574 times:

My father worked for Curtiss-Wright in New Jersey from 1962-1963, including a plant only a few 100 yards from my apartment. He also worked on monster radial engines used in the 'piston era' aircraft like Lockheed Constillations and the like for airlines and governments all over the world. C-W made a monster Turbo-Compound Radial that was at least 3600 Cubic Inches displacement, similar to the PW described above.
When properly tuned and warmed up, these complicated monsters are something to hear in person but rarely so today. About the only radial engines you hear today are on an old beater DC-3 in the Carribbean hauling freight or at an WWII era aircraft show.

User currently offlineDesertAir From Mexico, joined Jan 2006, 1557 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (9 years 10 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 2564 times:

When I was a child my father would take me out to the airport in Stockton, California to watch the daily UA plane come in from the valley run. In those days we could stand very close to where the plane parked to deplane and load passangers. The sound of the engines firing up was wonderful. I don't recall the type of plane on that route.

User currently offlineB6JFKH81 From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 2950 posts, RR: 7
Reply 3, posted (9 years 10 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 2550 times:

I get to hear radial engines quite often actually, especially during the summer. A lot of old war birds fly in and out of KFRG. It is such an awesome sound!!!! If you close your eyes, you really feel like you are in a time warp!

"If you do not learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it"
User currently offlineVC10 From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1468 posts, RR: 15
Reply 4, posted (9 years 10 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 2544 times:

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 1):
-W made a monster Turbo-Compound Radial that was at least 3600 Cubic Inches displacement, similar to the PW described above.

I believe you are referring to the Wright Cyclone 3350 which had 18 cylinders with 3 PRTs and with just 3350 cu inches produced some 3450 HP in its final civilian mode. The P&W 4360 with 28 cylinders and 4360 cubic inches capacity produced 3500 HP in it's civil mode and I believe 3800 HP in military role. I have heard of the military getting 3800 HP out of their 3350s also

These engines are great to look at and hear, but they must have been their owners nightmare as their reliability was very poor campared to todays jets.Still they did not know that then and the ingenuity of the designers to get a few more HP out of their engine was amazing.

Mind you they were all renowned for their oil consumption with perhaps the 3350 considered the worst of all so I am told, and each engine on a Connie did not have a 45 to 50 gal oil tank just for fun. On the Super Connie they even had an extra belly oil tank so as to allow oil transfer to the engines in flight.

I have seen an old Connie Manual which stated that an engine should not be removed from the wing unlees it's oil consumption exceeded 5 gals per hour!

Those were the days none ot that little quart cans then rather 55 gals drums


User currently offlineN231YE From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (9 years 10 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 2505 times:

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 1):
About the only radial engines you hear today are on an old beater DC-3 in the Carribbean hauling freight or at an WWII era aircraft show.

Every so often, an Air Tahoma CV340 (possibly a 240 or 440) comes into KCLE with cargo. Unfortunately, it only comes when the usual CV580 breaks down. However, if you guys really miss pistons, but want to see alot of them, if you come to Columbus, OH, stop by KLCK to see Air Tahoma's base. Last time I was down there, there were quite a few old piston Convairs.

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Photo © Steven J Mathis

[Edited 2006-07-31 18:39:46]

User currently offline57AZ From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2586 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (9 years 10 months 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 2477 times:

Nothing like the big radials. Too bad most are de-rated due to lack of hot fuel (high octane) that they were originally designed for. Best Christmas ever was a few years back. We flew up to Eloy to watch the jumpers, specifically a group that one of our neighbors was flying. They did a mid-altitude jump from a C-54-took them several passes to get everyone out. Watching the PT-17 do the low altitude drops was entertaining too. These were drops, not jumps as the parachutist did a freefall from the Stearman as it did a low altitude rollover.

"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
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