Random aviation post

Radial engines are really cool. Haven't studied them yet but we've got a sweet real-life cutaway of one at school that runs on an electric motor so you can watch it work. Very cool to see. And if they're cool on planes, why not on bikes too?

As usual, HowStuffWorks has a nice clear piece on radial engines and the basics of how they function. Basically they are a series of cylinders laid out in a spoke-like pattern rather than in the more familiar V or inline patterns you see in cars. Their popularity was at its height around the time of WWII. How do you add more cylinders in a radial configuration? Stack "wheels" in front of each other. Enter the Pratt & Whitney R-4360 Wasp Major, an absolute beast of a machine. Not the first to add row upon row, but probably the standout example. Four rows of 7 cylinders each for a whopping 28 cylinder, 4360 cu in, nearly two-ton, 4300 HP animal. Throw four of those bad boys onto an airframe and you've got the B-50 Superfortress.

1 comment:

Greg said...

Engines are cool. Excelent post.