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Merlin Engine Refit  
User currently offlineBa97 From Canada, joined Apr 2004, 377 posts, RR: 0
Posted (7 years 1 month 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 3169 times:

In many threads people refer to the RR Merlin as the greatest engine of its time. If it was a step above others, this got me thinking, was there any plan/idea of refitting planes with it if its capability was so good. For example, was the Lancaster a much better aircraft due to the Merlin? Would there have been benefit or capability to put them on a B17 or B24? I understand the redesign of air frames for single engine planes would not make it possible in cases but what about those with engines on wings.?


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7 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineStealthZ From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 5693 posts, RR: 44
Reply 1, posted (7 years 1 month 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 3133 times:
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I do not have access to it at the moment but I have seen at least one picture of a B-17 with Merlin engines.
Having said that I am not sure they were, could have been Allisons, also do not recall if it was an "official" development exercise or something done at some farflung remote location by "bush mechanics"
If I ever find it again I will post it.

Cheers



If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
User currently offlineEBJ1248650 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1932 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (7 years 1 month 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 3112 times:

Quoting StealthZ (Reply 1):
I do not have access to it at the moment but I have seen at least one picture of a B-17 with Merlin engines.
Having said that I am not sure they were, could have been Allisons, also do not recall if it was an "official" development exercise or something done at some farflung remote location by "bush mechanics"
If I ever find it again I will post it.

Cheers

You might be thinking about the XB-38, an Allison engined B-17 that was built and test flown. As far as I can remember, there never was a B-17 fitted with Merlins.



Dare to dream; dream big!
User currently offlinePtrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3939 posts, RR: 18
Reply 3, posted (7 years 1 month 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 3096 times:

Quoting Ba97 (Thread starter):
was there any plan/idea of refitting planes with it if its capability was so good

Yep, the P-51 Mustang.

Peter Smile



The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
User currently offlineStealthZ From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 5693 posts, RR: 44
Reply 4, posted (7 years 1 month 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 3032 times:
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Quoting EBJ1248650 (Reply 2):
You might be thinking about the XB-38, an Allison engined B-17 that was built and test flown. As far as I can remember, there never was a B-17 fitted with Merlins.

You are most likely correct, after posting reply #1 I did some research and discovered a Canadian concept for a Merlin powered B-17(with twin tails!) but it appears to have existed only in concept & model form and is not the aircraft I recall.

Cheers

Chris



If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
User currently offlineMrChips From Canada, joined Mar 2005, 927 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (7 years 1 month 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 3020 times:

Quoting Ba97 (Thread starter):
If it was a step above others, this got me thinking, was there any plan/idea of refitting planes with it if its capability was so good.

Look no further than the Canadair C-4 North Star. What Canadair did was redesign the Douglas DC-4 to fit Merlins in lieu of the DC-4's Pratt and Whitney R-2000 radials. Although the Merlins greatly increased performance, the aircraft was very unpopular due to the unbelievable amount of cabin noise. It was so bad, in fact, that the sole C-5 variant of the North Star had Pratt & Whitney R2800 radial engines fitted instead.

North Star C-4, in service with BOAC as the Argonaut:


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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Ralf Manteufel



North Star C-5, for comparison:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Ian MacFarlane




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User currently offlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 6897 posts, RR: 46
Reply 6, posted (7 years 1 month 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 2955 times:

All engines are a compromise of various factors. The Merlin was an outstanding engine for a fighter aircraft, but that does not mean it would have been as great for other applications. Certainly it would not have been suitable for transport aircraft; I believe its TBO was about 500 hours. It offered great power to weight ratio, great high-altitude performance, and being watercooled offered a low-drag profile. What its fuel consumption was in comparison to radial engines was I don't know; radial engines were capable of being operated lean of peak, which few inline engines were. It was probably pretty good, however; the Mustang certainly had range. One thing can be said with certainty; it beat the pants off the Allison, which was what the US had to offer. It was challenged by the Mercedes engine in the ME-109, however; if the Germans had not lost we might be looking at that one as the greatest engine. The Mercedes was fuel-injected, which allowed it to make a sudden dive that the Merlin could not match, as the fuel in the carburetor would cause it to lose power.


The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
User currently offlineEBJ1248650 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1932 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (7 years 1 month 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 2935 times:

Quoting StealthZ (Reply 4):
You are most likely correct, after posting reply #1 I did some research and discovered a Canadian concept for a Merlin powered B-17(with twin tails!) but it appears to have existed only in concept & model form and is not the aircraft I recall.

Cheers

Chris

Didn't know about that one. Interesting. Have to wonder why they considered twin tails, unless the higher power from the engines required them to maintain directional stability. Still, the ol' B-17 had a pretty good sized vertical stab.



Dare to dream; dream big!
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