Rolls-Royce Merlin, 1933-50 (all engine models), Owners’ Workshop Manual

B2187

The Rolls-Royce Merlin is almost certainly the best known aero engine around the world. There are some challengers of which the closest is probably the revolutionary Rolls-Royce Pegasus VSTOL jet engine. The Pegasus has been used only for the Harrier and Sea Harrier jump-jets, but the Merlin has powered a range of aircraft since its debut in 1933. It will forever be associated with the Hurricane and Spitfire of the Battle of Britain and publication of this new manual in the 75th anniversary year of the Battle of Britain is particularly appropriate. However, the Merlin powered British and US combat aircraft, including the Halifax and Lancaster heavy bombers and the incredible multi-role Mosquito. It also turned the P-51 Mustang from a potentially mediocre fighter to an outstanding escort fighter and ground attack fighter. Coupling the Mustang airframe to the license-built Packard Merlin provided the vital escort of 8th Air Force heavy bombers as they raided Germany in daylight. The Mustang had the range to stay with the bombers deep into Germany. It was also a potent interdiction fighter striking targets of opportunity across Occupied Europe. The author has produced very descriptive text and the manual follows the traditional Haynes format with lavish illustration in photographs, drawings and sketches. This is an excellent way to learn about the war-winning Merlin that went on to power Spanish-built versions of the Me-109 and He-111 in particular irony.

reviews.firetrench.com

adn.firetrench.com

nthn.firetrench.com

ftd.firetrench.com

NAME: Rolls-Royce Merlin, 1933-50 (all engine models), Owners’ Workshop Manual
DATE: 180615
FILE: R2187
AUTHOR: Ian Craighead
PUBLISHER: Haynes
BINDING: hard back
PAGES: 157
PRICE: £25.00
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: Schneider Trophy, racing seaplanes, Hon C S Rolls, Frederick Henry Royce, Eagle Merlin, R, Griffon, Spitfire, Hurricane, Mosquito, Mustang, Lancaster, Lancastrian, York, Amiot 356,Whitley, Halifax, Air Horse, Athena, P-40, Sea Hornet, Sea Hurricane, Seafire, Battle, Fulmar, Horsley, Nancu, HA-1109, Sturgeon, Type 322 Dumbo, Vickers Type 432, Welkin
ISBN: 978-0-85733-758-0
IMAGE: B2187.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/o8ptlwm
LINKS:
DESCRIPTION: The Rolls-Royce Merlin is almost certainly the best known aero engine around the world. There are some challengers of which the closest is probably the revolutionary Rolls-Royce Pegasus VSTOL jet engine. The Pegasus has been used only for the Harrier and Sea Harrier jump-jets, but the Merlin has powered a range of aircraft since its debut in 1933. It will forever be associated with the Hurricane and Spitfire of the Battle of Britain and publication of this new manual in the 75th anniversary year of the Battle of Britain is particularly appropriate. However, the Merlin powered British and US combat aircraft, including the Halifax and Lancaster heavy bombers and the incredible multi-role Mosquito. It also turned the P-51 Mustang from a potentially mediocre fighter to an outstanding escort fighter and ground attack fighter. Coupling the Mustang airframe to the license-built Packard Merlin provided the vital escort of 8th Air Force heavy bombers as they raided Germany in daylight. The Mustang had the range to stay with the bombers deep into Germany. It was also a potent interdiction fighter striking targets of opportunity across Occupied Europe. The author has produced very descriptive text and the manual follows the traditional Haynes format with lavish illustration in photographs, drawings and sketches. This is an excellent way to learn about the war-winning Merlin that went on to power Spanish-built versions of the Me-109 and He-111 in particular irony.

Rolls was an enthusiastic advocate of motor vehicles and aircraft during their early years. He held pilot’s License No. 2, helped to create the Royal Aero Club and won early air races. He was drawn to military use of his favoured technology and built what is almost certainly the best known motor vehicle in the history of motoring. In partnering with Royce, he had a great design backed by solid engineering to produce a supremely reliable motor car. He applied the same approach of sound engineering to the development of aircraft engines and his early death in an air crash was a great loss to the company, prompting the RR logo to change from red lettering to black.

Royce fought to maintain the aero engine business against some Board opposition and the Eagle entered service in 1916. It was a 12 cylinder V engine at a time when most aero engines were tricky rotary engines, with good power to weight ratios, or solid in-line engines that tended to deliver a much lower power to weight ration, if in return for improved reliability and removal of the centrifugal characteristic of the rotary engine. This later rotary characteristic cost many young pilots their lives but it did offer combat advantage to pilots who learned to exploit the feature, creating aircraft that today might be described as dynamically unstable.

The Eagle proved popular with engineers and pilots, powering a number of combat aircraft, including the Vickers Vimmy heavy bomber. It was the reliability of its twin Eagles that enabled Alcock and Brown to complete the first direct crossing of the Atlantic in 1919, mounted on a Vimmy bomber.

Rolls-Royce was to create a three branched family tree for its petrol engines. The Merlin was the final model of the longest tree. The shortest tree saw the Eagle XVI develop from the original 1916 Eagle and for the Vulture to develop from the XVI. Some will claim that this branch of development was the least successful but the Vulture did have some adherents. The slightly longer second tree included the Buzzard and the R with the Griffon developing from the Buzzard. The R was important as it was built for the Supermarine Schneider Trophy seaplanes and its performance won the Trophy permanently for Britain with three consecutive wins. The final race saw the Schneider float-plane achieve over 400 mph which, even with the massive floats introducing drag, was still twice the speed of front-line fighter aircraft of the time. The Griffon was to begin replacing the Merlin as a power-plant for Spitfires and heavy bombers. A feature of the Griffon was that it exploited the greater power output by employing contra-rotating propellers that provided the swept area a significantly larger diameter single propeller that would have been difficult/impossible to fit into an existing aircraft designed for the Merlin.

The longest branch of development from the original Eagle culminated in the Merlin. From the Eagle to the Falcon, to the Condor is a line from which the Buzzard developed to produce the R and the Griffon. The straight line down from the Condor led to the F.X and the Kestrel which produced the Peregrine as a spur from the main line and continued down to the Goshawk, P.V.12, to the Merlin.

When the Merlin was fitted to the first Hurricanes and Spitfires it spun a two bladed wooden propeller. This was standard for biplane fighters with in-line or V engines. Moving to a dual pitch three bladed propeller allowed more efficient exploitation of the Merlin’s power, although some inexperienced pilots got into a muddle remembering whether to fly in course or fine pitch, with unfortunate results. The variable pitch propeller proved the effective solution. Four and five bladed propellers followed and work proceeded with contra-rotating propellers. This was essential to the development of ever more powerful Merlin models as the engine output doubled, requiring matching development of the propeller to enable the pilot to fully exploit the extra horsepower.

The Merlin was always in heavy demand and although production expanded, there were periods when everyone wanted to use the Merlin in their aircraft, or other vehicles, and rationing was inevitable. Packard began license production of the Merlin and this output was available to Canadian and US manufacturers and also provide a source of Merlins for fast attack craft. This had opened a whole new set of requirements, following on from early use of over-houred RAF Merlins that were taken for marine and other uses. Eventually the Merlin was allocated for the Cromwell tank which can claim to be the most effective British WWII tank design, exceeded only by the Centurion which began introduction into the British Army after WWII and which developed a successful export sales including models used by Israel in the various wars with her neighbours.

The author has done a good job, providing a mass of information in crisp text, ably supported by the highest quality illustration. This book is a must for all enthusiasts, but it also provides a very good entry point for those who have not previously been enthusiastic readers of military technology and deployment. Being able to appeal to both readerships is not easy and many books fail, but this is a happy exception. It is very much more than a review of the engine that powered the Hurricane and Spitfire through the Battle of Britain. It explains in an easy to follow style how Rolls Royce was set up, how it got into the aero engine business and how it developed the most potent military aero engine of the 1930s. It then describes how the engine worked and what the pilots and engineers thought of it. The legacy is explained and some very useful appendices add to the fund of carefully researched knowledge. Highly recommended.

Leave a Reply