Aviation Engines

Liberty Aero Engine

The Liberty engine was not a 'company' engine as such, in that there was not a company called Liberty. The engine was designed in a short period of time by two men, E.J. Hall of Hall-Scott, and Jesse Vincent of Packard. The very first engine made was a V8, followed very quickly by the V12 version which was to become famous for the number of aircraft it was fitted into, and for its quite long life in actual flying service. The project was the result of the US war Department's efforts to produce a volume engine which could be made by a variety of manufacturers and be put into production quickly.

Liberty V12  Aero Engine

Liberty V12 Aero Engine

The design was carried out in about five days in a hotel suite in Washington, and the engine went on to a production run of over twenty thousand, most of them made before November 1918, the month of the Armistice. The engine had a swept volume of 1649 cu ins and unusually for an aircraft engine it had coil ignition. It remained in service until the early 1930's with the RAF and slightly later with the US Army. The engine was a 45 Deg V12 with exposed valve gear and water cooling. The use of individual cylinders enabled replacement to be carried out on the aircraft, and also made for easier production, once the welded water jackets were replaced by cast blocks.

Liberty V12 Aero Engine

Liberty V12 Aero Engine

The engines were probably the first reliable mass produced aero engine of this century, and with repairs they achieved remarkable hours on the wing compared with earlier efforts by the engine builders. The Liberty was produced by a number of manufacturers under Govt licence, and started quite a few companies up in the repair business.


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