Antique Engines and Old Iron
[Home] - [HELP] - [Forums] - [Library] - [Photo Gallery] - [Groups] - [Classified Ads] - [Subscribe] - [Links] - [Books] - [Sponsors] -

Go Back   SmokStak > SmokStak® Antique Engine Community > Vintage Diesel and Oil Stationary Engines
Forgot Password? Join Us!

Notices

Vintage Diesel and Oil Stationary Engines Fairbanks Morse, Lister, Petter, Witte and other pump injected Diesel oil engines.

Vintage Diesel and Oil Stationary  Engines

Packard DR980


this thread has 12 replies and has been viewed 1222 times

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 02-08-2018, 10:32:21 AM
Sooty Jim Sooty Jim is offline
Registered-I
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Ottoville, Ohio, USA
Posts: 242
Thanks: 126
Thanked 211 Times in 75 Posts
Default Packard DR980

Had a chance to visit a Packard DR980 radial aircraft diesel at America's Packard Museum in Dayton yesterday. Great to see one in person... and the Packard cars were't too bad either ( : < ). Not much history is known about the engine but I hope to turn up a little as I research for the story in Diesel World. Here's a pic of the engine. It was the only diesel engine in the house but you don't get to see too many PT boat engines, Liberty aircraft engines or Packard-Merlins around, plus all the Packards cars, including one racer Lindbergh drove when he came down to fly the Packard diesel aircraft.

Reply With Quote
The Following 11 Users Say Thank You to Sooty Jim For This Post:
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 02-08-2018, 11:35:39 AM
ronm ronm is offline
Subscriber
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Fruita, Colorado USA
Posts: 4,477
Thanks: 2,917
Thanked 3,044 Times in 1,626 Posts
Default Re: Packard DR980

There is info on the Packard i have seen on the Net, but don't remember exactly where. I remember one story where the pilot's wife wouldn't let him in the house after he had been flying "that oil burner"...
Notice the Packard only has one valve per cylinder?
__________________
Smokstak member #442
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 02-08-2018, 11:55:04 AM
Sooty Jim Sooty Jim is offline
Registered-I
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Ottoville, Ohio, USA
Posts: 242
Thanks: 126
Thanked 211 Times in 75 Posts
Default Re: Packard DR980

Yeah, the one valve 2-stroke idea is what killed the idea for a lot of potential buyers because you couldn't use an exhaust system. The scavenging from airflow thru the scoop is what cleared the cylinder, so the cabin filled with diesel fumes. Guiberson toyed with it as well and went to a two-valve, 4-stroke setup. Packard was a great engine company, and who knows what their engine might have developed into, but Guiberson's was the better engine. Of course it had quite a bit more development time.

I have lots of info on Packard radial diesels in general, just not on this particular engine. They don't know if it ever ran or flew or even where it came from. I have some resources that may partially answer some of those questions.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Sooty Jim For This Post:
  #4  
Old 02-08-2018, 06:02:20 PM
Sooty Jim Sooty Jim is offline
Registered-I
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Ottoville, Ohio, USA
Posts: 242
Thanks: 126
Thanked 211 Times in 75 Posts
Default Re: Packard DR980

Correction to the above: They DID have an exhaust system. This is an early engine because it doesn't have the oil cooler nor the intake flappers used to slow the engine down. They had trouble with the early engines because they couldn't slow the engine down and reduce thrust for landings.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 02-09-2018, 12:33:48 AM
Peter Short Peter Short is offline
Subscriber
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Posts: 315
Thanks: 1,273
Thanked 552 Times in 189 Posts
Default Re: Packard DR980

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sooty Jim View Post
Yeah, the one valve 2-stroke idea is what killed the idea for a lot of potential buyers because you couldn't use an exhaust system.
Sooty Jim,

The Packard diesel was a four stroke engine, but with a single valve for intake and exhaust.

Some sources for info:

The First Airplane Diesel Engine: Packard Model DR-980 of 1928 by Robert B. Meyer, published in 1964 is only 48 pages but has some good photos of the engine internal parts, interesting for gear heads! It also summarises the good and bad points of this engine.

Master Motor Builders by Robert J.Neal is a massive book about Packard's non-automotive engines, published in 2000 and recommended for anyone interested in Packard's many aero and marine etc. engines. There are about 20 pages on the Packard diesels, not so much technical but the story of the people, aircraft, engine etc. from start to finish.

Robert Neal says "by far the most comprehensive study of the development and use of Diesel aero engines was Diesel Aviation Engines by Paul H. Wilkinson. The last edition was published in 1942".

ps, I have just looked at a pdf copy of the last book mentioned and it has very little about the Packard engine, about 1 page. It has a chapter on the Guiberson engine.

Last edited by Peter Short; 02-09-2018 at 12:56:03 AM.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Peter Short For This Post:
  #6  
Old 02-09-2018, 12:43:03 AM
enginenut2 enginenut2 is offline
Registered-II
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 332
Thanks: 205
Thanked 202 Times in 124 Posts
Default Re: Packard DR980

"Diesel Aviation Engines" is easily found to read at hathitrust.org
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to enginenut2 For This Post:
  #7  
Old 02-09-2018, 08:34:55 AM
Sooty Jim Sooty Jim is offline
Registered-I
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Ottoville, Ohio, USA
Posts: 242
Thanks: 126
Thanked 211 Times in 75 Posts
Default Re: Packard DR980

"2-stoke" was a typo.

Have had all the resources mentioned in hand, long since. And then some. Hoping to find more on the evolution of the engine... not that there was all that much given only about 100 engines were built. It appears most engines Packard built were never used, or used sparingly. Only a couple of changes in the "production" engines.

Guiberson was a far superior engine to the Packard for many reasons. Mostly, Guiberson had more development time to figure things out and a lot more of a track record, with thousands of engines built and used.

Ultimately, no manufacturer ever was able to field a diesel aircraft engine that had any legs in the market, though the most recent attempt seems to have some potential. Of course that's what they all said back in the day! ( : < )

A pity Bob Neal has passed. I would have liked to have looked thru his archive.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Sooty Jim For This Post:
  #8  
Old 02-10-2018, 10:28:14 AM
gootsch gootsch is offline
Registered-I
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Newry, Maine, USA
Posts: 414
Thanks: 191
Thanked 180 Times in 143 Posts
Default Re: Packard DR980

There is a Packard Diesel built as a cut-away in the Franklin Museum in Philly.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 02-10-2018, 02:13:35 PM
Sooty Jim Sooty Jim is offline
Registered-I
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Ottoville, Ohio, USA
Posts: 242
Thanks: 126
Thanked 211 Times in 75 Posts
Default Re: Packard DR980

Have been corresponding with their curator, actually, trying to get an engine number. Unfortunately, the plate is gone. I can tell from the pics that it's a later engine (late '30 or later). Their info says the engine was used for testing at Wright Field in Ohio... presumably before it was cut up ( : < 0)

In fact, anyone that sees one of these engines in the near future, take down the engine number for me. I have written to or called every place I could find that has one. Henry Ford has (or had) engine #100, which was the first production engine. The one in the Packard Museum in Dayton is 154. I hope to get all the number and correlate that to features and get some idea of when the few production changes occurred.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 02-10-2018, 02:25:03 PM
BHoward BHoward is offline
Subscriber
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Woodville, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 577
Thanks: 132
Thanked 257 Times in 174 Posts
Default Re: Packard DR980

Is that a rotating engine or a radial .
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 02-10-2018, 03:00:18 PM
Sooty Jim Sooty Jim is offline
Registered-I
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Ottoville, Ohio, USA
Posts: 242
Thanks: 126
Thanked 211 Times in 75 Posts
Default Re: Packard DR980

Radial. Designed to replace the Wright J5 Whirlwind in weight, mounting and dimensions.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Sooty Jim For This Post:
  #12  
Old 02-11-2018, 01:54:57 AM
Peter Short Peter Short is offline
Subscriber
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Posts: 315
Thanks: 1,273
Thanked 552 Times in 189 Posts
Default Re: Packard DR980

Sooty Jim,

Apologies for suggesting books you already have, I should have guessed that from your first post.

However, I always try and include book titles for everyone/anyone's benefit quite simply because it is the first thing I always want to know when I read an interesting thread. It probably comes across as condescending, but it is a risk I am willing to take in case it helps some reader, some time. I get tired of asking posters the title of books etc...determined not to be like that.

Regarding how Packard tried to equal the Wright Whirlwind with their diesel, I was reading in one of those books how one big problem was that petrol engine design did not stand still, in particular when higher octane fuels became available.

Sorry to hear that Robert Neal has died I have his two Packard books and his Liberty engine book, they are all huge, comprehensive and beautifully produced works. I also had to admire the man with a V-12 Packard aero engine in his garage.
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Peter Short For This Post:
  #13  
Old 02-11-2018, 06:42:21 AM
Sooty Jim Sooty Jim is offline
Registered-I
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Ottoville, Ohio, USA
Posts: 242
Thanks: 126
Thanked 211 Times in 75 Posts
Default Re: Packard DR980

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Short View Post
Sooty Jim,

Apologies for suggesting books you already have, I should have guessed that from your first post.

However, I always try and include book titles for everyone/anyone's benefit quite simply because it is the first thing I always want to know when I read an interesting thread. It probably comes across as condescending, but it is a risk I am willing to take in case it helps some reader, some time. I get tired of asking posters the title of books etc...determined not to be like that.

Regarding how Packard tried to equal the Wright Whirlwind with their diesel, I was reading in one of those books how one big problem was that petrol engine design did not stand still, in particular when higher octane fuels became available.

Sorry to hear that Robert Neal has died I have his two Packard books and his Liberty engine book, they are all huge, comprehensive and beautifully produced works. I also had to admire the man with a V-12 Packard aero engine in his garage.
No apology necessary. Though I usually have a fair bit of research done before I post, you might have offered a clue I didn't have.

The Packard's main weakness was the single valve head, which limited power more than even the normal NA diesel to gas deficit. Packard kinda rushed the diesel to market but, unfortunately, there wasn't much of a market.The aero engine market was flat anyway and the depression didn't help.

Gasoline engines advanced quickly because the money and market was there for the research to get done. Packard, Guiberson and others tried to carry on and push ahead but they simply didn't have the capital to make the advances needed to influence the market significantly in their favor. It would also have required infrastructure changes... diesel available at airfields, techs with the training to work on them, etc. If the market had swung that way, it might have flown (pun intended!).

The military could have had a huge influence but when WWII came along, the U.S. military was standardized on gasoline. In those few areas where a diesel (as it was) could have been beneficial... long range reconnaissance aircraft for example... the impact on logistics gave the idea a poor cost/benefit ratio.
Reply With Quote
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Sooty Jim For This Post:
Reply

Bookmarks


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

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

F o r u m Jump

Similar Threads Chosen at Random
Thread Thread Starter F o r u m Replies Last Post
1940 Packard 110 coupe oldsoldster Antique Autos and Trucks 6 07-01-2017 09:53:02 AM
Wanted: 1925 Packard dieselsteveo Antique Autos and Trucks 2 05-14-2017 12:45:05 PM
Passing of Del Packard Jeff Schoch Old Engine Memorials 3 11-17-2016 04:12:16 PM
Speaking of Packard... Craig A Antique Autos and Trucks 11 05-11-2014 02:48:51 PM


Use "Ctrl" mouse wheel to change screen size.
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:48:40 PM.

Smokstak and Enginads site search!


All use is subject to our TERMS OF SERVICE
SMOKSTAK® is a Registered Trade Mark - A Community of Antique Engine Enthusiasts
Copyright © 2000 - 2019 by Harry Matthews P.O. Box 5612 - Sarasota, FL 34277