Radial Engine in Motion

Radial Engine in Motion

These engines were developed to prevent engine stall in fighter planes in a dog fight as for vibration a specially designed fly wheel will counter vibration.

More performance with less cubic inches.

No water cooling making it simpler to make and maintain. It is also very very resilient to battle damage. Pistons could be shot off and the engine still run. They were also very powerful. Some examples had up to 18 cylinders and more.

For that reason P-47s were still used in ground attack roles in close support of infantry in WWII up till Vietnam. Outliving the P-51s although the P-51 replaced the P-47 as a bomber escort fighter.

radial-engine-in-motion
A bullet striking the P-51s engine block will bring down the plane.

While the P-47 will smoke but will bring the pilot home.

The propeller acts like a flywheel.

What about the engine with fixed crank and movable cylinders, the Red Baron Engine? They’re called rotatorys.

Early Harley Davidsons used radial engines. That’s why they are so loud and vibrate so much. The V twin/L twin in many bikes is the same concept just with fewer cylinders.