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RR Merlin

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RR Merlin

Comments for: RR Merlin
Anonymous Report This Comment
Date: November 06, 2006 11:14PM

I think those were first used in the British spitfire,great engine!
alterego Report This Comment
Date: November 06, 2006 11:25PM

Yes, the 21.2 litre Merlin was used in Spitfires but this one is obviously from an american P-51 Mustang. smileys
with beer
90130_ Report This Comment
Date: November 07, 2006 12:23AM

Chain and gear driven overhead cams, four valves per cylinder, gear driven magneto, two-stage supercharger, high volume water cooling and magnificent machinework. What an engine, and one far ahead of its time.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/11/2006 12:24AM by 90130_.
om10 Report This Comment
Date: November 07, 2006 09:23AM

i think you will find that the merlin engine was fitted in the lancaster and not the spitfire
Anonymous Report This Comment
Date: November 07, 2006 09:27AM

Marvellous machine, yes. But not marvellous machining. Far from it. Initially, anyway. Due to Rolls-Royce's limited capacity, production of the Merlin had to be farmed out to other manufacturers.

Ford, was but one of several different companies to produce the Merlin. But it was almost a case of them not doing so. The reason, was terrible, slack production tolerances on the part of RR. They would build each engine individually. So much so, that parts from other, apparently identical engines, could not be guaranteed to fit other sister Merlin's.

So when Ford was asked to produce the Merlin, it said that in order to do so, they could only produce items within much tighter production tolerances.

Why? Because Ford were the first to volume manufacture cars and engines. Something that was very necessary in mass production. Ford had to ensure that a part used in several models, could be switched at will, directed to where they were required, something Rolls-Royce were not capable of.

The British government had Rolls-Royce give assurances that they would tighten up on their production tolerances. Once proven, Ford began manufacture, although it was not always possible to fit parts supplied by RR to Merlin engines built by other companies.

The Merlin also found its way into other applications, such as MTB's and tanks, although somewhat de-tuned in the case of tanks.
om10 Report This Comment
Date: November 07, 2006 09:31AM

sorry the spitfire did have the merlin engine fitted, i was thinking about the later griffon engine fitted in the spitfire
Anonymous Report This Comment
Date: November 07, 2006 09:33AM

As per my other post; the Merlin found its way into a variety of different applications. These included MTB's and tanks, as well as Lancaster's and Spitfire's, not forgetting the incredible Hurricane. So very much underrated, yet superior to the Spitfire in everything but outright speed.

The Merlin is probably the most evocative and sweetest sounding gasoline engine ever produced, IMHO.
Anonymous Report This Comment
Date: November 07, 2006 09:43AM

There were a lot of one-eyed, would be Merlin tuners at one time. That is, if they are not dead, would be Merlin tuners.

Reason, is that the Merlin had pressurised sodium-filled valves, and unless wise to this, fools would attempt a little valve grinding. Never a good thing to do with a Merlin.

Well, you can imagine the scene.
quasi Report This Comment
Date: November 07, 2006 05:54PM

After the Spitfire, my favorite application for the Merlin was The P-51 Mustang, a great American airplane which began life with a terrible Allison engine (at least terrible for the application). Someone fitted a Merlin into the plane and the whole became almost greater than the some of it's parts as well as a great example of a group effort.

I also think the engine first appeared in the Supermarine racing airplane a few years before WWII.
90130_ Report This Comment
Date: November 07, 2006 07:04PM

This is a good thread. Great stuff! Ever see one of these being pulled out of an Unlimited P-51 Racer? I was eating spaghetti with the crew while this was going on at night, with giant floods and light stands everywhere. They had a full semi truck trailer with four of these engines on stands. Three race prepped and one stocker. $300,000+ each. Awesome.
Anonymous Report This Comment
Date: November 08, 2006 09:12AM

Yeah, the Alison as installed in the P51 was far from ideal. Gave great range, unlike the Spit or Hurricane. However, the fitting of the V-1650 Merlin overcame what problems there were, turning the Mustang into one of the all-time great fighter aircraft.

Bomber support could now be realised, and was further enhanced with the advent of the 'drop' disposable fuel tanks employed on later models.

Both it - the Mustang, and the Spitfire, must rank as two of the most beautiful propeller-driven aircraft, ever. In spite of that, I have a real soft spot for the Hurricane. Solid, dependable, and a far more stable gun platform then the two former machines.(sigh)
90130_ Report This Comment
Date: November 08, 2006 08:34PM

I would add another aircraft to those two choices, the Hawker Sea Fury, last piston engined fighter of the Royal Navy. Fast and beautiful.