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Rambler 1-1

Inline VS Radial

Inline VS Radial  

21 members have voted

  1. 1. which one is better?

    • Inline
      10
    • Radial
      11


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My flight lead is convinced that inline engines (Including Vs, Is and HOs) are better than radial engines (including dual, tri and quad banks). I like radials better.I'd like to settle this once and for all. No stupid "Piston-engines-are-crap-go-use-a-PT6" comments. :tongue:

Edited by Rambler 1-1

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Would it not come down to the application? Each type having strengths and weaknesses making it more suitable for particular uses?

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As C5 stated, it's a question of utilisation, yeah. Inline engines are not good for ground attack, they are a lot more easier to damage from groundfire than radial engines, wich are really sturdy, but for a pure fighter, the aerodynamic of an inline engine is more efficient than a radial one.

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I thought radials were better for dogfighters because they have better mass centeralization and usually less overall weight, which means better manuverability. Also, the Jug and the Corsair were both pretty fast, and they had radials.

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I thought radials where heavier. Just look at the corsair and the thunderbolt. Two massivly heavy planes compared to the much lighter p-51 and p-40

 

 

P-40 was rather heavy. Thing was a tank!

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The P-40 was not "heavy" due to it's engine. The plane was heavily armored(especially for the time it was intorduced), I believe had or quickly had armored self sealing fuel tanks and so forth. In addition the Alllison engine used by the P-40 was lackluster compared to contemporary radial powered planes, the Riech really pushed the performance for inlines with the DB series engines in the 109. They even used later inlines in the 190D-9 and that plane was F-A-S-T for a piston at that time.

 

As for the debate: both engine types had their purposes. The great advantage that a radial had over inline is that they were air cooled. So groundfire was not near the issue in regards to engine damage due to collant leaks. HP wise they were comparable, I think radials tended to get the upper hand in torque but not necessarily in horsepower. Radials were by far more common in use during WWII. As far as I know not one fighter plane used HO motors. However, inline or V's lend themselves to more modification along the lines of superchargers, turbo induction etc. than radials and are more fuel efficient. The only other advantage I believe that a radial has over inline is that high rpms are less traumatizing.

 

So, it's really a toss up. Some really fast badarsed planes used radials from heavies on down to fighters. One of my favorite light bombers that was hella fast was the A-20/Boston MK III and it used radials. The P-47 ,in my opinion, was a better plane than the P-51 in many respects (mass diver, great high alt performance, massive ordnance capability, had a surprisingly tight turn circle for a bird that big, lot's a fire power, 8 .50's is madness, tough as hell [bob johnson wouldn't have got home otherwise]). Horrible climb rate

 

Then you have greats like the P-38, dual counter oppossed Allisons(which seemed to be a better performing model than the P-40's plant), Fast, reliable, long range, 4 dueces and a 20 mm, good ordinance carry ability. All the Spit planes as well as the Tempest.

 

Take your pick.

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It's horses for courses boys.

 

The question is moot really. It's like saying "which is better, straight or swept wings ?"

 

The real question you should ask would be, say, which is better, the Merlin 61 or the DB601 ?

 

Then we'd be off on a tangent with the Spitfire boys versus the Messerschmitt guys etc etc, blah blah blah, yada yada... :blink:

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Nicky is right, you have got to weigh the advantages and disadvantages to suit your application and you have the answer, I personally love radial engines, I fly a Boeing Stearman (or at least used to until I changed jobs) and the sound is magic, I also have about 270 hours on Tiger moths, and I like the Tiger more than the stearman but the engine isn't as nice.

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I'm partial to the radial engines because radial engines are generally less troublesome than liquid-cooled ones and have been the engines of planes that were suitable for all sorts of tasks. My favourite plane, the FW-190, but also the Jug and the Corsair, are perfect examples of planes with radial engines which fared well both as fighters as well as ground attack. Their only match could be considered the Tiffie and the Tempest, and they weren't as good dogfighters as the Shrike (Würger, the FW-190).

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I'm partial to the radial engines because radial engines are generally less troublesome than liquid-cooled ones and have been the engines of planes that were suitable for all sorts of tasks. My favourite plane, the FW-190, but also the Jug and the Corsair, are perfect examples of planes with radial engines which fared well both as fighters as well as ground attack. Their only match could be considered the Tiffie and the Tempest, and they weren't as good dogfighters as the Shrike (Würger, the FW-190).

 

That's pretty right, except that the Jug and the Corsair were never good dogfighters neighter, but they were perfect for boom'n'zoom. Yeah, inline engines were lighter and more aerodynamical, but as you stated, they were more complexe than the radial ones, wich can sometime come back with one cylender or two shooted up. Think about the Napier Sabre from the Tempest and the Typhoon, those were mechanical horrors, with a very small life time, and with a real tendance to break for god knows what...

 

But yeah, for ground pounding, prefer a good radial engine! Think about the Jug and the Skyraider!

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Are you sure inlines(water cooled) are lighter, with all the extra plumbing and then the coolant my guess is it's the other way around if not an even match, the engine doesn't often determine the dogfighting ability of an A/C, and ironically some of the fastest prop driven A/C have been radial engined (Bearcat, Sea fury, FW-190 etc), so much for the inline streamlining, in terms of reliability there have been examples of some real pigs in radials too.

 

p.s. I hope that didn't sound hostile, it's not the intention, I just figured I would highlight the difficulty in determining a clear winner in this debate, besides the sound of a WW2 warbird is all music to me.

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Are you sure inlines(water cooled) are lighter, with all the extra plumbing and then the coolant my guess is it's the other way around if not an even match, the engine doesn't often determine the dogfighting ability of an A/C, and ironically some of the fastest prop driven A/C have been radial engined (Bearcat, Sea fury, FW-190 etc), so much for the inline streamlining, in terms of reliability there have been examples of some real pigs in radials too.

 

p.s. I hope that didn't sound hostile, it's not the intention, I just figured I would highlight the difficulty in determining a clear winner in this debate, besides the sound of a WW2 warbird is all music to me.

 

No no, there's no problem, no offense taken here mate, we're between more or less adult people here :biggrin:

 

I should maybe reconsider the technical data and see wich engines are heavier. And well, yeah, radial engines were among the fastest, but THE fastest in WW2 was an inline engine, the Hawker Tempest, so much for the radial engines :biggrin:

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I should maybe reconsider the technical data and see wich engines are heavier. And well, yeah, radial engines were among the fastest, but THE fastest in WW2 was an inline engine, the Hawker Tempest, so much for the radial engines :biggrin:

 

Uhm, I think the Tempest II (powered by a radial engine) was faster than the Tempest V. :grin:

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Uhm, I think the Tempest II (powered by a radial engine) was faster than the Tempest V. :grin:

 

Yep, as well as the Bearcat, me think, but neither of them saw combat during WW2.

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Inlines usually gave more power for weight, however they were usually much weaker to enemy fire, radials were big heavy and gave massive amounts of power, just look at Pratt & Withney R2600-2800 engines, massive and brutal power.

However if we look at speed, fastest WW2 planes had inline engines, P51, ME109,FW190D,Ta-152, Hawker Tempest etc..

 

Ofcourse they both have advantages and disadvantages, but if I was to design a WW2 fighter(lol) I would go for the inline engine, for a bomber or fighter-bomber I would go radial, but that's nothing new as that is the way it was done in WW2 :wink:

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Tempest V was a radial engine :biggrin:

 

The Tempest V was powered by a Napier Sabre engine.

post-22093-1203344898_thumb.jpg

...that doesn't look like a radial engine to me. :wink:

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Tempest II was fitted with a Bristol Centaurus 18-cylinder radial engine which owed much to its installation to the analysis of a stray FW-190 that landed by mistake in England...

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The Tempest V was powered by a Napier Sabre engine.

*pic*

 

...that doesn't look like a radial engine to me.

 

It sure is not, it's a H-shaped 24cylinders, 2420HP(If it's SabreIIb) at SL rated MONSTERRRR :yes:

Edited by Brain32

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OK I concede, I must admit I am not 100% confident in my History, the Napier Sabre was indeed a MOSNTERRRRR :yes: (it also was very unreliable) but I guess the basis of the topic has wandered off, Radial or inline?, for me it is impossible to answer.

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