Probably one of the most famous engines used in WWII was the Merlin.
Few engines throughout history have achieved a near mythical status among its admirers. Fewer still can share credit for the rescue of an entire nation. Perhaps only the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine can claim both distinctions. During the Battle of Britain, it was the Merlin that powered the Royal Air Force Hurricanes and Spitfires that were England’s only effective defense against German air attacks. With the battle won, and the engine’s reputation thus established, the Merlin would become the stuff of legend and the powerplant of choice for numerous other aircraft.
14,000 parts, no that is NOT a misprint, 14,000!!! Hand fitted by Rolls Royce, and they dumped the contract on Ford of Britain and Packard in the US to build them. The interesting part?
Both Ford and Packard were mass production! So there were issues…
The article, HERE from Tested, is from 2015, but it’s still very applicable. And it’s a neat one! Terry Dunn did a great job of researching and found some videos from WWII England that talked about the engine’s construction.
And before you ask, no these are NOT the same engines Packard put in the PT boats. It is similar, but the PT boat engine was developed inhouse at Packard, HERE. It’s also based on an airplane engine, but it’s the Liberty engine from 1925!
The irony? It’s 2018, and those 70+ year old engines are still out there powering Mustangs and Spitfires today!
And there are a few of the Packard PT boat engine still running in PT boats too!
And a hat tip to John up in Canada, he sent me THIS link. They’re still flying up there!