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Old 19th Feb 2011, 13:00   #1 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
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Fuel injection and carburator history

I am interested in light aircraft history containing fuel injection and carburator.
I know that in WWII DB 601 was used and its engine had fuel injection, but it was not a light aircraft.
When carburator first came available in piston engines and in what airplanes?
When fuel injection was used firstly and in what aircraft in light airplanes and its developement until today?

If anybody knows some links about this topic, post freely, because I could not find almoust nothing
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Old 19th Feb 2011, 14:44   #2 (permalink)
 
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Fuel injection and carburetter history

A good place to start would be the Aircraft Engine History society.

AEHS Home

If you can afford, buy all of the Torquemeter magazines whilst they are still available. I cannot recomend them highly enough for anyone who is interested in aircraft engine development.
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Old 19th Feb 2011, 20:29   #3 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabauss View Post
When carburator first came available in piston engines and in what airplanes?
The Wright Cyclone, which powered so many WW2 and after aircraft (B29, Constellation, etc), changed over from carburettor to injection in 1944. Pratt & Whitney seemed to stick with carburettors for a while longer.
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Old 19th Feb 2011, 22:11   #4 (permalink)
 
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Stand by for a discussion about the merits of Miss Schilling's Orifice.
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Old 19th Feb 2011, 22:45   #5 (permalink)
 
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Wikipedia as ever gives a good starting point.
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Old 20th Feb 2011, 03:53   #6 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
The Wright Cyclone, which powered so many WW2 and after aircraft (B29, Constellation, etc), changed over from carburettor to injection in 1944.
Not on the standard Cyclone, they didn't.
Fuel injection was offered only on the turbocompound series, and these became available well after 1944.

Quote:
Pratt & Whitney seemed to stick with carburettors for a while longer.
No Pratt & Whitney civil piston type that I know about (including the R-4360) offered fuel injection, only pressure carburetors.

And yes, I have personally flown aircraft equipped with both types referenced above.
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Old 20th Feb 2011, 07:18   #7 (permalink)
 
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Rabauss

I see you are in Estonia. If you use the google language tool and translate some key words into the German language you should get more "hits" on your searches. You don't have to have perfect German to undestand the concepts and the name of the people and companies involved. The first substance that was injected was actually coal dust for example....really interesting history.
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Old 20th Feb 2011, 15:43   #8 (permalink)
 
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411A
I think you are wrong on that statement as the Lockheed Constellation
C-121A ---749A used a Cyclone BD1 engine which was not a compound engine, however it did have Fuel injection.

This engine had the two fuel injector pumps synchronised by a mechanical interconnecting rod, where as on the later compound engines I believe they were synchronised by individual flow sensors.

the C-121a were introduced during 1947 if I remember correctly
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Old 20th Feb 2011, 17:25   #9 (permalink)
 
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The M14P Vendeneyev (Yak 52) has what I suspect many radials have - single point fuel injection into the supercharger. But is that really a carb? Do any radials have FI directly into each cylinder head? (The M14P does suffer carb icing! I've had one stop on me at the hold through that just prior to take off!).
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Old 21st Feb 2011, 03:06   #10 (permalink)
 
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Fuel injected versions of the R-3350 were the -57, -57A, -59 and -59A. Injection was into each individual cylinder combustion chamber. Two injection pumps with each pump servicing one row of cylinders. Used on B-29, B-32, C-97, C-121. Don't have a list of civil applications to hand, though seeing it was used on the 121 and 97 you would imagine it may have been. Airlines may well have had their own reasons for staying away from the technology at the time, if indeed that was the case, eg mechanics not familiar, maintenance issue etc.

Edited to add: found a TCDS TCDS E-272 Rev 9 Curtiss-Wright/Marquette, Inc. for the civil fuel injected R-3350. Fitted to the turbo compounds as 411A mentions. Some non turbo engines had fuel injection also. TCDS E-218 Rev 12 Curtiss-Wright/Marquette, Inc.

Last edited by Brian Abraham; 21st Feb 2011 at 04:46.
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Old 21st Feb 2011, 11:13   #11 (permalink)
 
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Fuel injection of petrol (gasoline) engines followed on from the development of this technology for diesels. Diesel engines came into widespread use for ships, railway locomotives, buses and trucks in the 1930s, and I'm aware that the Germans used diesels for aircraft engines in WW2. Application for aviation petrol engines seemed to follow on some years later (for Wright at least, it seems), and for car engines later still.

A question for 411A and others whose experience is way beyond most of us here, did you have the same issues with carburettor icing and similar which afflict light aircraft engines, and how were such issues overcome on reciprocating larger aircraft ?
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Old 21st Feb 2011, 16:12   #12 (permalink)
 
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I thought Rolls-Royce/Lucas also used fuel injection technology during WW2 for the Merlin. This was also subsequently developed by Lucas for Triumph's 'PI' fuel injection system as used on the TR5/TR6/2.5PI saloon. The use of aerospace grade parts explains why my spares are so expensive!
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Old 21st Feb 2011, 17:29   #13 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
A question for 411A and others whose experience is way beyond most of us here, did you have the same issues with carburettor icing and similar which afflict light aircraft engines, and how were such issues overcome on reciprocating larger aircraft ?
In my personal experience with R2800 and R4360 engines, all with pressure carburetors (Bendix pressure carbs, if I recall correctly) carb icing did not appear to be a problem...as in, never experienced any in my ops.
The DC-6B, as one example, had three designs (directly from Douglas) to combat possible carb icing...alcohol, Calrad electric heaters, and exhaust heat.
Aircraft were delivered with alcohol tanks for the carburetors and used for awhile, Calrad electric heaters were fitted for a short while, but proved troublesome, so were discontinued, and exhaust muff heat proved to be the most reliable.

Quote:
Fuel injected versions of the R-3350 were the -57, -57A, -59 and -59A. Injection was into each individual cylinder combustion chamber. Two injection pumps with each pump servicing one row of cylinders. Used on B-29, B-32, C-97, C-121. Don't have a list of civil applications to hand, though seeing it was used on the 121 and 97 you would imagine it may have been.
Didn't know that, although my experience is civil, not military.
In addition, the civvy C97 (the B377 Stratocruiser, which I flew) all had R4360 engines with pressure carburetors.
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Old 21st Feb 2011, 17:51   #14 (permalink)
 
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Chevvron, you beat me to it!

Seriously though - look up Beatrice Schilling to learn the important bits about aviation carbs, especially regarding the Merlin engine type - a simple solution to a complex issue!
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Old 21st Feb 2011, 18:09   #15 (permalink)
 
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I'd never heard of pressure carburettors before now, but here is a writeup about them.

Pressure carburetor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 22nd Feb 2011, 12:15   #16 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
I thought Rolls-Royce/Lucas also used fuel injection technology during WW2 for the Merlin.
For British manufactured Merlins carburation consisted of a two barrel SU (Skinner’s Union, Carburetor Division of Morris Group) carburetor. They caused the engine to cut out when subjected to negative “g”. The “cut” was a two stage process, first as the fuel in the float chamber was forced to the top exposing the main jets to air causing a lean cutout, and secondly the float would now float to the bottom of the chamber causing the needle valve to open wide thus causing a rich cutout.

Miss Shillings orifice was a flow restrictor similar to a flat washer with an orifice sized to allow only the amount of fuel necessary to satisfy maximum engine output and no more. Two restrictors were developed, one for 12 PSI boost (54”) and another for 16 PSI (62”). A flange was also incorporated on the tapered end of the needle valve to create a flow restriction under negative “g”.

American produced Merlins used a Bendix single point fuel injection carburetor which did not suffer the negative “g” issues.

411A, you may be interested in this piece of Bob Buck’s when he was with TWA from “North Star Over My Shoulder”. Will answer WHBM’s question re icing as well.

Quote:
Later, so-called nonicing carburetors were developed, but they weren't; then came fuel injection, and that was supposed to be the ultimate cure, but it wasn't. An engine needs air, and that comes in from the outside, bringing along snow, rain, freezing rain, or whatever else is out there. The carburetor might not ice, but the induction system-all the passageways the inbound air flows through-will.

A new model Constellation came with fuel injection and consequently was announced as "nonicing," but we still had trouble because the induction system would collect snow that made the engines run erratically. What we needed was a way of shutting off the air coming from outside and taking it instead from under the cowling where it was warm and snow-free. The problem was that the airplanes didn't have this option, known as Alternate-A (A for air). We pilots urged the company to modify the airplanes, but they didn't want to-it cost money.

Every time we encountered snow as we flew across the ocean the engines acted up. The flight engineer played with different power settings, leaned or enriched the mixtures, anything. We flew on with the engines surging-running irregularly, but running. But it was damned disturbing to feel the rough-running engines, on instruments, with the cold, stormy North Atlantic 17,000 feet below. No one ever had a complete failure because of it, but there were no guarantees, and each time it occurred you squirmed, hoping this wasn't the one.

The solution was simple, and it came about on a flight I happened to be flying, New York to Shannon, Iceland, and Paris. One passenger was John Collings, our VP of operations, a thin-lipped old-time pilot who demanded perfection. International operations had recently been combined with domestic, which had been his bailiwick, so now he was boss of it all. Ocean flying was relatively new to him, and I think he may have had that uptight feeling people are apt to suffer when first heading out to sea.

We were about 100 miles off the coast of Nova Scotia, flying through light snow when I drifted back to the cabin for my smile-and-nod session with the passengers and to look in on John. I knew the snow would become heavier as we approached a low-pressure area. He was eating dinner.

He asked me, "How's it going?"

I kneeled down in the aisle and responded, It's going fine, right on flight plan, a little snow outside-we're 100 miles off the Nova Scotia coast."

Just then the engines decided they weren't happy with the snow and started to run rough.

'What's that?" John nervously asked.

"Oh, just snow making the engines act up---can't help it." I didn't feel comfortable and wanted to go back to the cockpit, but I decided to grind this into John a bit.

We chatted some more, as the engines' normal rhythm was disturbed by roughness.

"Don't you think you ought to be up front?"

It won't do any good-I've got a good flight engineer, he's doing his best; without that Alternate-A we can't do a hell of a lot to help." He was well aware of our demands for this modification.

The engines continued their slight surging-Collings looked nervous.

Bob, I want you to go back up front!" it was an order.

"Okay-see you later." And I sauntered back to the cockpit-glad to be there.

We finally flew out of the snow and the engines settled down to their smooth pounding. But not long after that trip the order went out for Alternate-A to be installed on the fleet.
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Old 22nd Feb 2011, 12:23   #17 (permalink)
 
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Slight thread hi-jack - Has anyone got any good diagrams or the like of pressure carburettors? I had a look a while ago but couldn't find one that showed it all properly.
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Old 22nd Feb 2011, 22:56   #18 (permalink)
 
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18-Wheeler, sent a PM with your email address and will send scanned documentation.
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Old 23rd Feb 2011, 06:47   #19 (permalink)
 
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Thanks to Brian, the diagrams and text are excellent.
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Old 19th Apr 2011, 13:59   #20 (permalink)
 
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Rip 411a

Sad news today. Captain Bob Welliver (better known to us as 411A) has flown west. See R&N for details and tributes.
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