A aviation & planes forum. AviationBanter

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

Go Back   Home » AviationBanter forum » rec.aviation newsgroups » Military Aviation
Site Map Home Register Authors List Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Web Partners

Ford Merlin Engines?



 
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old August 13th 03, 07:53 PM
RON
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Ford Merlin Engines?

Reading a book,Wheels for the World by Douglas Brinkley, Henry Ford, his
company. In it he states that the British government approached Bill
Knudsen with "a dire order for production of the Rolls-Royce Merlin
engine" in 1940.
The Ford Motor Company had previouslr accepted a contract to build
Rolls-Royce engines for French warplanes. The contract never came to
fruition due to the fall of France in June 1940. Henry Ford refused to
buld the engine,"we are not doing business with the British government
or any other government".
Alvin Macauley,president of Packard Motor Company, agreed with Knudsens
request to build the engine.
I always thought that Packard was chosen because of their expertise in
building fine engines. Evidently not?
Ron

Ads
  #2  
Old August 14th 03, 05:21 AM
Jim Atkins
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Might have been they hit Ford first because of their massive production
capacity. Packard did have a little experience with aircraft engines- I
believe a Packard-powered Lockheed Vega still holds the altitude record for
a diesel powered aircraft.

--
Jim Atkins
Twentynine Palms CA USA

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend.
Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."
- Groucho Marx


  #3  
Old August 15th 03, 12:25 AM
Jim Atkins
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

My error- checked the source, "Revolution in the Sky' by Richard Sanders
Allen- it's the American record. You're correct, Bill.
--
Jim Atkins
Twentynine Palms CA USA

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend.
Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."
- Groucho Marx


  #4  
Old August 15th 03, 03:38 AM
Peter Stickney
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

In article ,
(RON) writes:
Reading a book,Wheels for the World by Douglas Brinkley, Henry Ford, his
company. In it he states that the British government approached Bill
Knudsen with "a dire order for production of the Rolls-Royce Merlin
engine" in 1940.
The Ford Motor Company had previouslr accepted a contract to build
Rolls-Royce engines for French warplanes. The contract never came to
fruition due to the fall of France in June 1940. Henry Ford refused to
buld the engine,"we are not doing business with the British government
or any other government".
Alvin Macauley,president of Packard Motor Company, agreed with Knudsens
request to build the engine.
I always thought that Packard was chosen because of their expertise in
building fine engines. Evidently not?


The story's a little on the complicated side.
Let's not forget that there were Ford affiliates in France and Britain
before the War. In late 1939, the French Ford affiliate was
approached by the French Government to undertake prosuction of Merlin
Engines. The U.S. Ford headquarters dispatched an engineering team to
France to assist with evaluating the production potential. Due to a
number of factors (Production Engineering and design difficulties in
the basic Merlin, and the inability, for a variety of reasons for
French Industry in general to get off the dime) they weren't able to
produce any engines. At about the same time, The Air Ministry
approached British Ford to second-source Merlins. This, in fact, was
done, after much grunting and swearing. (Rolls really didn't know much
about mass production, and the Merlin required a lot of work to build
on a high volume basis.) At about the same time, the British
Purchasing Comission approached Edsel Ford (Henry's son, a pilot an
aviation enthusiast) about producing the Merlin in the U.S. This was
agreed, and Rolls sent copies of the Merlin drawings to
Dearborn. (This wasn't a minor matter. There are a lot of parts in a
Merlin, and duplicating drawings was done by hand.) When old Henry
Ford found out about the agreement, he basically passed down an edict
that Ford would not build anything for a foreign government. (Henry
Ford was a strange combination of organizational insight,
pig-ignorance, and some of the nastiest sides of U.S. Midwestern
values of the time. It's really hard to say if his decision was based
on his affinity for Hitler, an earnest desire to keep the U.S. out of
a European conflict - He'd humiliated himself during the First World
Wat by single-handedly attempting to end it with a shipload of
platitudes. Then too, the fact that it would **** off Roosevelt if he
didn't take the contract probably didn't hurt, either)
Note that this did not preclude British, French,
Australian, or, for that matter, German Ford subsidiaries fron taking
contracts from their governments. This killed the deal, although Ford
was willing to build engines under U.S. contract - this was before
Lend-Lease. Ford decided to proceed with the design of their own 12
cylinder inline aircraft engine. In the event, this was never built,
but the block was cut down to 8 cylinders, and the supercharger
removed, and it became the basis of the Ford GAA engine used in M4A3
and M26 tanks.

The British still were casting about for offshore Merlin production.
Packard, which had an excellent reputation for manufacturing quality
and engineering, and a track record in building large aircraft
engines,(The built a series of big V-12s in the 1920s, derivatives of
which were used through WW 2 to power PT boats) stepped forward, and
convinced Rolls that they could take on the job. Rolls, in fact,
ended up learning wuite a bit about production line design, and
production engineering from Packard, and a number of Merlin
improvements (2-piece engine blocks, improved supercharger drives,
improved bearing technologies, and injection carburetors were Packard
improvements.


A good source, if you can find it, is "The Merlin at War", by the
Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust.

--
Pete Stickney
A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many
bad measures. -- Daniel Webster
  #5  
Old August 15th 03, 10:46 AM
Dave Eadsforth
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

In article , Peter Stickney
writes
In article ,
(RON) writes:
Reading a book,Wheels for the World by Douglas Brinkley, Henry Ford, his
company. In it he states that the British government approached Bill
Knudsen with "a dire order for production of the Rolls-Royce Merlin
engine" in 1940.
The Ford Motor Company had previouslr accepted a contract to build
Rolls-Royce engines for French warplanes. The contract never came to
fruition due to the fall of France in June 1940. Henry Ford refused to
buld the engine,"we are not doing business with the British government
or any other government".
Alvin Macauley,president of Packard Motor Company, agreed with Knudsens
request to build the engine.
I always thought that Packard was chosen because of their expertise in
building fine engines. Evidently not?


The story's a little on the complicated side.
Let's not forget that there were Ford affiliates in France and Britain
before the War. In late 1939, the French Ford affiliate was
approached by the French Government to undertake prosuction of Merlin
Engines. The U.S. Ford headquarters dispatched an engineering team to
France to assist with evaluating the production potential. Due to a
number of factors (Production Engineering and design difficulties in
the basic Merlin, and the inability, for a variety of reasons for
French Industry in general to get off the dime) they weren't able to
produce any engines. At about the same time, The Air Ministry
approached British Ford to second-source Merlins. This, in fact, was
done, after much grunting and swearing. (Rolls really didn't know much
about mass production, and the Merlin required a lot of work to build
on a high volume basis.)


I seem to remember the part of the story that, after studying the design
for the Merlin, Ford UK came back to Rolls Royce and said that they
could not build the engine in the stipulated manner.

'Tolerances too fine for you?' asked Hives (RR chief exec)

'No, far too loose,' came the reply, 'we'll have to make it to our own
specification.'

Which they did, and I think they produced about three times (?) more
engines than RR did over the war period.

SNIP of fascinating US-side history

Rolls, in fact,
ended up learning wuite a bit about production line design, and
production engineering from Packard, and a number of Merlin
improvements (2-piece engine blocks, improved supercharger drives,
improved bearing technologies, and injection carburetors were Packard
improvements.

I heard that the 2-piece block made the Merlin less prone to seizing -
any truth in that?

A good source, if you can find it, is "The Merlin at War", by the
Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust.

Thanks for the reference...

Cheers,

Dave

--
Dave Eadsforth
  #6  
Old August 17th 03, 11:14 AM
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Peter Stickney wrote:

snip

At about the same time, The Air Ministry
approached British Ford to second-source Merlins. This, in fact, was
done, after much grunting and swearing. (Rolls really didn't know much
about mass production, and the Merlin required a lot of work to build
on a high volume basis.)


Apparently British Ford had to completely redo the tolerances to permit mass
production. RR had very loose tolerances and depended on part
selection/hand fitting.

regards

jc
 




Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Homebuilt Aircraft Frequently Asked Questions List (FAQ) Ron Wanttaja Home Built 0 December 2nd 04 07:00 AM
Book Review: Converting Auto Engines for Experimental Aircraft , Finch Paul Home Built 0 October 18th 04 10:14 PM
Homebuilt Aircraft Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Ron Wanttaja Home Built 0 June 2nd 04 07:17 AM
Homebuilt Aircraft Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Ron Wanttaja Home Built 1 January 2nd 04 09:02 PM
Homebuilt Aircraft Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQ) Ron Wanttaja Home Built 0 July 4th 03 04:50 PM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 11:43 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2004-2021 AviationBanter.
The comments are property of their posters.