View Full Version : Best aero engine of the WWII era?

12-03-2005, 03:28 PM
I know there's only one winner of this prize, but this is probably an easier question than best bomber/fighter as the engines were installed in all types of aircraft so the different roles don't really play a part.

Without a doubt the merlin( I think the griffon should be included under the merlin banner) must come out as number 1. I will accept no argument against it, and anyone who does is obviously mentally disturbed and should be killed immediately.

Its the others that are a little more difficult to rank.

12-03-2005, 03:32 PM
OK, I will bite. What in your opinion makes the Merlin better than any other engine? Please give a full answer so that we can either be convinced or have a lively debate.

12-03-2005, 03:46 PM
Nice one. We have a psycho in our midst.
There is nothing new to be said about the Merlin. Just take a look at the range of aircraft it was fitted to.
It was the Merlin that transformed the US's beloved Mustang from a very average pile of crap into the world class escort fighter that it became.
There's no point in talking about the hurricane or spitfire and their use of the merlin. The engine was equally responsible for the great handling of these superb aircraft as much as the airframes.
The list of fine aircraft that this engine powered is very impressive, Mosquito, Lancaster etc. etc......
The merlin transformed the particularly bad Manchester into the immortal Lancaster.
I freely admit that the Germans and the US produced some fine power plants but none of them contributed to such an extent as the Merlin.

2nd of foot
12-04-2005, 02:09 PM
or it just sound good


12-04-2005, 06:07 PM
Personally I'm a sucker for Sabre engines - sleeve valves & H-form are a bit of a mad way to do things, but once they'd got it to work it was a fantastic engine. It was also a true brute of an engine, unlike say some of the big Wright radials that just seemed to be stacked engines and don't do it for me.
Of the R-R engines, my pick would be the Crecy. Look it up and see why...

12-04-2005, 08:40 PM
What about the P&W Twin Wasp :?:

(That should get the debate going :twisted: )

12-05-2005, 05:15 AM
What about the P&W Twin Wasp :?:

(That should get the debate going :twisted: )
Nah. Aircooled engines are technically a better design for aircraft, but they just don't do it for me. That and I love sleeve valves...

12-05-2005, 10:42 AM
The Merlin is the obvious best overall one for sure. At the time the thinking was that air-cooled radials like the P&W or Curtiss were best for Navy aircraft due to the fact that operations over vast stretches of water gave radials an advantage. The P-51 manual says it will operate 10 minutes after coolant is gone and pilots have confirmed that.

Nevertheless it was great

12-05-2005, 04:00 PM
I must say I'm a great fan of Napier engines as well as R-R. The Sabre was an awesome piece of engineering, no wonder it had so many early problems though, it was just so damn complex.
Although the British in general were the leaders in sleeve valve designs, Bristol were the kings of sleeve valve engines, the centaurus being an absolute monster. Probably one of the greatest radial sleeve valve engines ever.