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Rolls-Royce

 Country: Great Britain

 Industry/ Capability:
Rolls-Royce Limited - one of the most important aviation companies, designed and manufactured advanced aero engines.

 Head Office:
Derby, England, United Kingdom

 Noteworthy:
Avro Lancaster
de Havilland Mosquito
Supermarine Spitfire
Hawker Hurricane
Handley Page Halifax
Bristol Beaufighter
North American Mustang ...
* partial list


By the late 1920s, aero engines made up most of Rolls-Royce's business.
Rolls Royce is one of the most famous names in engineering throughout the world.


 Additional Notes:

Transformed the American P-51 Mustang into a competitor for the best fighter of its time, its engine a Merlin engine built by Packard under license.

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Rolls Royce Merlin 60 series

First production variant to incorporate two-piece cylinder blocks


— often forgotten is that the capacity of the Merlin was quite small when compared to the opposition. The Merlin has a capacity of 27 liters, whereas the DB-601 of the Messerschmitt 109 was 36 liters and the BMW-801 engine of the Focke-Wulf 190 had 42 liters

This is a real blueprint, expertly restored from original plans and vintage design drawings. — measuring a generous 42"x 30".

Rolls Royce Merlin Mk.61

We have all three of the Merlin series Blueprints. This blueprint is the Rolls Royce Merlin Mk.61 (Merlin Mk.61: Two-stage, two-speed gearbox series)

History of the Merlin series engines: The Rolls-Royce Merlin is a British, liquid-cooled, 27-litre (1,650 cu in) capacity, V-12 piston aero engine, designed and built by Rolls-Royce Limited. Initially known as the PV-12, Rolls-Royce named the ...   continues: Click here


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ww2_rolls-royce-merlin-61-a.jpg ww2_rolls-royce-merlin-61-b.jpg ww2_rolls-royce-merlin-61-c.jpg

The Rolls-Royce and Packard built Merlin engine is universally acknowledged as one of the finest piston engines that has ever been manufactured.

 
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History and Description: Rolls Royce Merlin 60 series...
Rolls Royce Merlin 60 series

This is a real blueprint, expertly restored from original plans and vintage design drawings. — measuring a generous 42"x 30".

Rolls Royce Merlin Mk.61

We have all three of the Merlin series Blueprints. This blueprint is the Rolls Royce Merlin Mk.61 (Merlin Mk.61: Two-stage, two-speed gearbox series)

History of the Merlin series engines: The Rolls-Royce Merlin is a British, liquid-cooled, 27-litre (1,650 cu in) capacity, V-12 piston aero engine, designed and built by Rolls-Royce Limited. Initially known as the PV-12, Rolls-Royce named the... continues below

Continued from above…   Rolls-Royce named the engine the Merlin following the company convention of naming its piston aero engines after birds of prey.

    The Rolls Royce or Packard built Rolls Royce Merlin is one of the finest piston engines ever conceived. Employing technology fifty years ahead of its time, the Merlin engine is a true fighter thoroughbred.

The Rolls-Royce Merlin was developed in various steps. In the 1920's, Rolls-Royce oversaw the development of the 'R' engine, which evolved from both the Kestral and then Buzzard (Rolls-Royce utilized names of birds for their engines) to spur Britain's entry into the International Schneider Trophy seaplane contest. In 1931, the engine set a new world's speed record of over 400mph over water, and then over land. More importantly, as later events were about to prove, this design experience gave Rolls-Royce the technological basis to develop the Merlin.

By 1932, it was obvious that the 745hp "Kestrel" engine, that had thus far been a bestseller, was coming to the end of its developmental life. Sir Henry Royce, about one year before his death in 1933, made a decision to develop a new engine using some of the experience of the Schneider Trophy winning 'R' engine. This new engine was initially known as the PV12 (private venture), and was entirely funded by Rolls-Royce up to that point. However, in 1933, the British Air Ministry agreed to finance the development of this engine, which was then termed the "Merlin."

In 1940, when Britain was at her knees in an air war with Germany, that determined whether Germany would invade, the mighty Merlin powered the Spitfires and Hurricanes in the "Battle of Britain" that thwarted the enemy's attempt. Being in strong need of aircraft, Britain employed America to build her a plane. The P-40 was requested, but production wasn't adequate, so James H. "Dutch" Kindleberger of North American Aviation, built the all-new P-51A, powered by an Allison. After limited success due to limited altitude, the P-51B received the V-1650-3 Merlin, and subsequent models (P-51C-K) received the V-1650-7 model.
Ironically enough, in spite of its later reputation of extreme performance, the project was riddled with problems. After many developments, which entail the A-G Merlins, the G model, which was termed "Merlin II," became a successful engine after having had passed testing. This Merlin II, with modification for high output, notably attempted a speed record in 1937, while installed in a Supermarine Spitfire.

In 1935, after many difficulties with the supercharger gearing (supercharger being mechanically driven while a turbocharger is exhaust driven), Rolls-Royce took out a license to utilize the Farman two-speed drive. Sir Stanley Hooker, a mathematician, then developed this system to increase performance at higher altitudes. This version became known as the Merlin XX and was used in the British Beaufighter, Defiant, Halifax, Hurricane, Lancaster planes and others.
Developmental lines:

As the Merlin evolved so too did the supercharger; fitting into three broad categories:
 

  • Single-stage, single-speed gearbox: Merlin I to III, XII, 30, 40, and 50 series
  • Single-stage, two-speed gearbox: Merlin X, Merlin XX 
  • Two-stage, two-speed gearbox with intercooler: mainly Merlin 60, 70, and 80 series

Most of the Merlin's technical improvements resulted from more efficient superchargers and fuel with increased octane ratings.

Supercharger design was the real key to the Merlin performance. A two-speed/two-stage design with tolerances measured in millionths of an inch. What the supercharger did was keep atmospheric pressure inside the induction system equal to sea level pressure. It did this so much better than the Allison design that a Merlin developed more horsepower at 26,000ft than an Allison did in full power setting for take-offs! The problems with such a system are in cooling the fuel-air mixture, which has been heated by the compression of the supercharger, before it gets to the cylinder. A cooler fuel-air mixture results in a denser mixture in the cylinder, which results in more power. Cooling of the mixture was done through use of an 'intercooler' passage between the first and second stages of the supercharger, and an after-cooler between the blower outlet and the intake manifold.
  • Be sure to visit our aircraft sounds page (Historic Archive ? Vault) and listen to the powerful P-51 mustang engine...

The Merlin was used on numerous aircraft including:

Hawker Hurricane Beaufighter
P-51 Mustang Hotspur
Supermarine Spitfire Defiant
F-82 Twin Mustang Barracuda
Mosquito Hornet
Wellington Whitley
Fulmar Canadair 4
Miles M.20 Lincoln
Battle Kittyhawk
Halifax Athena
Tudor Balliol
Cierva Air Horse York
Lancaster Henley
Further development produced the first American built Merlin (done under license by the Packard Motorcar Company of Detroit), the V-1650-1, which was used in the P-40F model. P-40's had used the dependable Allison engine that utilized a turbocharger, however, GE could not meet production demands of equipping both bombers and fighters with turbochargers, so most Allison powered planes were limited by altitude. Such was the case with most P-40's, and the initial P-51A.

The idea of a marriage of the P-51 mustang airframe and the Rolls Royce Merlin engine began long before anyone had ever heard of a Mustang. And, contrary to popular belief, this was not exclusively a British idea. Why the Merlin? The answer to that question is simple expediency! The Rolls Royce Merlin engine was a proven design and available at the time. It was already powering some of the world's best warplanes - the Hurricane, Avro Lancaster and, of course, the superb Supermarine Spitfire.

To develop a new engine for the P-51 comparable to the Merlin required time, time the Allies simply did not have. Remember this was mid-1942 and the United States was still reeling from the Pearl Harbor attack, Great Britain was still standing alone opposite an entirely hostile continent and Soviet Russia was still retreating before the omnipotent German Blitzkrieg. The Allies needed weapons to fight the tide of defeat and they needed them right away! One of those weapons would be the Merlin-powered Mustang.

The mighty Merlin, with its extremely good supercharger, gave the Mustang the ability to perform well up to 41,900 feet achieving the speed of 437mph. This combination of engine and plane, produced the winning superior allied fighter of WWII.

During the war there was enormous pressure to develop the capacity of the piston engine. The Merlin typified the trend, more than doubling in power from 746 kW (1000 hp) in 1939 to over 1567 kW (2100 hp) by 1944, mainly through improvements in supercharging.
Summary:
The first operational aircraft to enter service using the Merlin were the Fairey Battle, Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire. More Merlins were made for the four-engined Avro Lancaster heavy bomber than any other aircraft; however, the engine is most closely associated with the Spitfire and P-51 Mustang. An English Icon, the Merlin was one of the most successful aircraft engines of World War II.

The V-1650 liquid-cooled Packard engine was the U.S. version of the famous British Rolls-Royce "Merlin" engine which powered the "Spitfire" and "Hurricane" fighters during the Battle of Britain in 1940. In Sept. 1940, the Packard Co. agreed to build the Merlin engine for both the American and the British Governments, and adapted it for American mass-production methods. The first two Packard-built Merlins to be completed were demonstrated on test stands at a special ceremony at the Packard plant in Detroit on August 2, 1941.

Full production began in 1942 and by the end of World War II, 55,873 Merlin engines had been produced in the U.S.A. The Army Air Forces used the Merlin engine almost exclusively in the famed P-51 "Mustang", for it provided greatly improved high-altitude performance over the Allison V-1710 engine used in earlier series of the airplane. The V-1650 Merlin also replaced the V-1710 in the "F" series of the P-40. The British also used Packard-built Merlins during the last three years of the war in their "Spitfire", "Mosquito", and "Lancaster" airplanes.

Most of the Merlin's technical improvements resulted from more efficient superchargers and fuel with increased octane ratings.

Debs McCaffrey