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RR Merlin

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Simon Chaddock23/12/2010 19:20:58
5621 forum posts
2987 photos
It was generally accepted that the Parkard Merlins were substantially more oil tight then the RR versions.
Messy rather than a problem as the Merlin oil consumption was measured in gallons per hour anyway.
It was the way RR made their engine that was different to Packard.
As the video shows lots of hand finishing and fitting. The end result was just as good but not necessarily as fully interchangeable.
Doug Ireland24/12/2010 08:03:59
2088 forum posts
42 photos
Is it just me or has page one of this thread gone all wonky?
David Ashby - Moderator24/12/2010 08:08:03
10953 forum posts
1681 photos
614 articles
Yes, the post by Peter Ward pasted in some troublesome html. I'll get on to that.
Peter - just write in the text box please next time, thanks 
Erfolg24/12/2010 10:49:06
11659 forum posts
1297 photos
It was apparently the same with Ford as Packard.
Ford re-engineered fastening numbers to an optimal level with respect functionality and production issues.
Probably much more important, was that of manufacturing limits and fits. The Ford unit, was manufactured to achieve total interchangeability of all components without recourse to "fitting".
All of this resulted in a much more consistent engine performance.
What is so very surprising is how Fords major contribution to Merlin production, appears, to be all but forgotten. Not even reaching a foot note in history status.
Broken Prop26/12/2010 22:12:03
618 forum posts
1 photos
Sorry Guys for causing problems with the thread.
I cut and pasted my text from another document instead of typing it out.....
Martin Harris26/12/2010 22:19:12
9170 forum posts
242 photos
You can paste using the relevant icons - just don't paste direct into the reply box from Word etc. as the forum doesn't get on with the formatting commands...
Broken Prop26/12/2010 22:33:47
618 forum posts
1 photos
Oh it was much worse than that!  I cut and pasted text from an email..............
Thanks for the tip Martin.
thomas oliver 130/12/2010 23:36:23
95 forum posts
23 photos
As one who worked on  Spitfires of all Marks at Eshott and Millfield in Northumberland during 1944,  I can say that regardless of who manufactured the Merlins or where,  they were a pretty reliable engine,  and I only ever saw one with the pistons hanging out of the crankcase.  They were not very easy to work on in the tight airframe,  and the vertical starter motor had about three very inaccessible securing nuts.  Maintenance sections had a full chest of special Rolls Royce tools.  On the flights, we had lousy thick and clumsy Whitworth spanners and had to make our own special spanners of which quite few were required. ( In contrast, all the American aircraft I worked on overseas came with a full case of beautiful open/ring spanners and ratchet and socket sets, which we never even heard of or seen in England.
     Although,as I have stated the Merlin was pretty reliable,, it did not compare with the Pratt and Whitney Twin Wasps, as fitted to the Liberators I worked on.  On my squadron, we sent 12 aircraft out on ops. every other day and over two years they all came back on four engines   These ops. were from Bengal, over the Indian ocean, to Burma and Malaya and some as far as Vietnam, taking over fourteen hours or so in the air. At the end of this period a letter from Group Headquarters was posted on our notice board stating " Never in the annals of the RAF has a squadron achieved such serviceability as this Squadron (159) over such a period."   This was not due to our servicing but to the utter reliablity of the engine, I have to admit.  
       Of course, another factor in aircraft engine reliability is that aero engines are pretty low revving and only do around 2000rpm when cruising.   Hope this throws some light on the topic. Tomol
Lee Smalley31/12/2010 00:04:29
2125 forum posts
68 photos
2 articles
hey if the yanks were so great why didn't they invent an engine as great as the merlin in the first place !!!  it took our engine to make the P51 as great as it was  keep in mind the merlin was created in a country that was being bombed to crap every day not sitting in the sunshine sipping beer!
Erfolg31/12/2010 10:46:59
11659 forum posts
1297 photos
I believe it is very realistic to argue that the Merlin was an exceptual engine, it would be another matter  to argue it was the best.
The best would open a whole new topic area of what makes something the best, how you measure it, but really comes down to what is expected.Is it power, power to weight, durability, reliability, service requirements, fuel efficiency, engine life, and so no.
The Merlin stands in good company with the Wright Whirlwind, Daimler Benz 601, De Havilland Gypsy. To this list you can add and delete what ever engine you wish. Although before dismissing the Packard engine, it was not designed for high altitude work. I also think that many a good airframe has been failed by a mismatched engine.
Part of the story of the continuous power improvements of many WW2 engines is down to octane ratings in addition to design improvements.
thomas oliver 105/01/2011 22:20:56
95 forum posts
23 photos
     Rolls Royce were quite aware of the problem of the carburettor on spitfires.  I worked on a small flight at Millfield in Northumberland in 1944, as I mentioned in my previous post, and the aircraft were Spitfire MKVs, fitted with fuel injection and we worked in cooperation with several Rolls Royce civilian engineers on these aircraft.  The significant thing is that they also used 150 octane fuel instead of the usual 100 octane.  These Spitfires had noticeable better performance.  The fuel was heavily doped and after a few flights the sides of the fuselage got thickly covered in brown deposit which we had to regularly remove.
      I have never seen any evidence since that these engines were ever used in anger.

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