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Yes it is a Dragon Rapide built in 1944. I only expected to see this type of aircraft flying as it is used for short pleasure flights around the Duxford area, so all the other aircraft running past to do their flight checks was a bonus.
According to different websites the following info found;
The Hurricane seen coming into land is a Canadian Car Foundry built Mk. XII of 1942 vintage powered by a Packard Merlin 1,460 HP engine. Note the canopy is wide open on the approach, is this for better vision when landing or because the cockpit is very hot?
Harvard 1747 was also built by Canadian Car Foundry, but a little later in 1953; it is displayed in the marking of the Portuguese Air Force.
My favourite is Catalina G-PBYA which was built by Canadian Vickers in 10/1943 and is a true flying boat and amphibious aircraft powered by Pratt & Whitney twin Wasp engines of 1,200 HP each. A total of nearly 4,000 of these aircraft were built and played a big part in World War II being used on search and rescue, anti-submarine warfare, convoy duties and bombing - pretty versatile!
Regret I have not been able to identify the Spitfire, but it would appear to be a 'middle' mark as it has a four bladed prop, but not the all-round bubble cockpit of later marks.
Have done a bit more research and the Catalina had a maximum speed of 196 MPH, economical cruise of 125 MPH and a range of 2,520 miles. It was able to carry 2,000 pounds of bombs and two torpedoes or four 325 pound depth charges and was armed with five machine guns, so not to be messed with!. The Twin Wasp R-1830 engine had two rows of seven cylinders each making 14 cylinders in all with 30 litres total capacity. Each engine produced 1,200 HP at 2,700 RPM for take-off and 700 HP at 2,325 RPM when cruising at 13,000 feet. The service ceiling was 15,800 feet. Above is a cutaway of a twin row radial engine at RAF Cosford Museum, not sure if it is a Pratt & Whitney, but note that the connecting rod attached to the top piston furthest from the camera is part of a ring in which the crankshaft rotates. The other six connecting rods are attached to this ring which basically oscillates whilst the crankshaft spins thus transmitting the in-out 'vertical' motion of the pistons into the rotational motion of the propellor. I believe the propellors are geared to rotate a good bit slower than the engine. Note too, the air cooling fins, the nifty cam guide to the right and heavy balancing weight to the left. 173,618 of these engines were built during and just after World War II.TimBrown wrote: ↑10:07 Sunday 2nd October 2016My favourite is Catalina G-PBYA which was built by Canadian Vickers in 10/1943 and is a true flying boat and amphibious aircraft powered by Pratt & Whitney twin Wasp engines of 1,200 HP each. A total of nearly 4,000 of these aircraft were built and played a big part in World War II being used on search and rescue, anti-submarine warfare, convoy duties and bombing - pretty versatile!
Although bigger in diameter and less aerodynamic than comparable vee or in line engines, radials were much shorter in length, lighter in weight and being air-cooled did not need glycol coolant which made them less susceptible to engine failure when hit by enemy armament. B17 bombers with this engine were known to keep flying with heavily damaged pistons allowing them to limp home.
By comparison the Packard Merlin engine is a liquid cooled 27 Litre capacity V12 engine producing maximum power at 3,000 RPM, but there are several levels of supercharger boost which could be used at different altitudes - if anyone can elaborate it would be appreciated. A total of 55,000 of this version was built and the British built engines totalled 149,659.
Also at RAF Cosford Museum was this DC3 Dakota powered by the Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp engines seen suspended from the roof of one of the hangers. Note the lines of rivets on this lovely aircraft.
If ever you get the chance to see any of these radial engined aircraft flying, make a point of listening to those engines, not as sharp and crackling as a Merlin but a very distinctive soft noise on approach with an unmistakeable exhaust rumble as they pass. And if you are lucky enough to see a B17 in action marvel at how manoeuvrable and gracefully such a big old bomber flies and think of the skill of the crew putting their charge through its paces.
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