Lister 5/1 Diesel

Aviation Pages

Diesel Aviation engines Page 1

The use of diesel engines in aircraft has a long history going back to the early 1900's. and started with both the British and Americans developing engines for use in airships and aircraft. The French, Germans and Italians were also active in this field.

In Great Britain, the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE) at Farnborough, worked on a compression-ignition design, and an article was published in 1927 by H.B.Taylor in the Aeronautical Journal based on the research. Work from these experiments was used in the design of the Beardmore engines used in the ill-fated R101 airship which was lost in France. These engines were of 8-cylinders 8¼" X 12" (Bore X Stroke) in line, slightly bigger than the single-cylinder experimental engine used in the RAE work.

Beardmore Tornado 8-Cylinder Diesel Aero Engine

Beardmore Tornado Diesel 8-Cylinder Aero (Airship) Engine

Beardmore Tornado 8-Cylinder Diesel Aero Engine

Beardmore Tornado Diesel 8-Cylinder Aero (Airship) Engine

Beardmore 12-Cylinder Diesel Aero Engine

Beardmore Proposed 12-Cylinder Aero Engine

In the USA, the Packard Motor Car Co started work in 1928 on a diesel design, under the control of Capt.L.M.Woolson, who retained the services of Dr Dornier (Germany) as a consultant on the fuel-injection system. Packard adopted the radial design for their engine, with nine air-cooled cylinders 4 13/16" X 6" (Bore X Stroke) with a displacement of 980 cu ins or nearly 16 litres. This engine was able to develop 225 hp at 1900 rpm, and was used in a record-breaking flight from Detroit to Miami in the fall of 1929, the aircraft being put on show later the following year. The engine used a bowl-in-head type of combustion chamber, and a compression ratio of 16:1, quite high for the engines of the time. A Bellanca aircraft powered by the Packard radial diesel, set a new unrefuelled world record flight duration of 84 hrs 33mins in May 1931 at Jacksonville Fl, beating the old record by 9 hrs 10 mins. The fuel carried totalled 481 gallons, but it is not recorded how much was left at the end of the flight.

Packard Diesel Aero Engine

Packard Diesel Radial Engine

Packard Diesel Aero Engine Cylinder Section

Packard Diesel Radial Engine Cylinder Section

Packard Diesel Aero Engine Cooling

Packard Diesel Radial Engine Cooling

The Frenchman E.Clerget had also designed a radial diesel which was exhibited at the 1930 Paris Aero Show. This engine had nine cylinders of 120mm X 130m mm, with a displacement of 13234 cc or about 814 cu ins. This engine developed a reputed 100 hp, and was the basis for a larger engine of 130mm X 170mm, with a displacement of about 20310 cc or 1250 cu ins, said to develop 200 hp for a weight of 600lbs. See Page 5 for picture of the larger engine.

Clerget 9-Cylinder Diesel Aero Engine

Clerget 9-Cylinder Diesel Aero Engine


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