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R-2800 Aircraft Engine


Photograph of R-2800 Double Wasp aircraft engine

U.S. Air Force. Via Wikipedia Commons.


The Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp was an air-cooled radial aircraft engine with 18 cylinders arranged in two rows. Bore was 5.75 inches (146mm) and stroke 6 inches (152mm) for a total displacement of 2804 cubic inches (4595 cc).  The engine weighed about 2450 lbs (1111 kg) and operated at 1300 to 2700 rpm.

A prototype F4U powered by  an early R-2800 achieved a level flight speed of 405 miles per hour (652 km/h) in 1940, a new world record, and "Hap" Arnold asked Pratt & Whitney to drop its work on liquid-cooled engines in favor of further development of the R-2800. It was a remarkably powerful engine for its day and was used in the majority of high-performance American military aircraft. It gained a reputation for toughness, sometimes continuing to function after having an entire cylinder shot away or suffering massive loss of lubricating oil from a torn oil line.

The Double Wasp also proved capable of continuing improvement. The -8W and -10W were equipped with water injection power boost, which increased engine power to 2250 hp (1680 kW) for short periods. Most versions used a two-stage two-speed supercharger for high-altitude performance.

Model
Horsepower
Wattage
Notes
5
1850 hp takeoff
1500 hp at 14,000 feet (4270 m)
1380 kw takeoff
1120 at 14,000 feet (4270 m)

8
2000 hp
1490 kW

8W
2250 hp
1680 kW
Equipped with water injection power boost
10
2000 hp
1490 kW

10W
2250 hp
1680 kW
Equipped with water injection power boost
21
2000 hp
1490 kW

31
2000 hp
1490 kW

34
2100 hp
1570 kW

51
2000 hp
1490 kW

57
2800 hp
2090 kW

59
2300 hp
1715 kW

S1A4G 1850 hp
1380 kW

Aircraft using this engine included the A-26 Invader, B-26 Marauder, C-46 Commando, F6F Hellcat, F4U Corsair, P-47 Thunderbolt, P-61 Black Widow, PBM-5 Mariner, PV-1 Ventura, PV-2 Harpoon, TBF-3 Avenger.

References

Graff (2009)
Gunston (2006)
National Museum of the USAF (accessed 2008-4-13)


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