The Engines of Pratt & Whitney: A Technical History

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The Engines of Pratt & Whitney: A Technical History recounts the role played by Pratt & Whitney (P&W) in the evolution of aircraft engines from 1925 to the present timeā€”for the most part as told by the engineers who made the history. A technical reference of all P&W engines and their applications, the book describes the evolution of piston engines and gas turbines, and offers young engineers a wealth of insights about design, development, marketing, and product support efforts for customers at home and abroad.

The first three chapters introduce the contributions of Frederick Rentschler, George Mead, and Leonard Hobbs, with stories of how each new piston engine came into being. From 1940-1945 P&W committed its engineering efforts to winning World War II, but when the war was over, P&W found itself on the outside of the gas turbine market, which was capably being served by General Electric and Westinghouse. How P&W emerged from being five years behind the competition in 1945 to a position of dominance ten years later is an exciting story of technical risk-taking and "betting the farm" on success.

Frederick Rentschler, who founded P&W with George Mead, believed that 75 percent of the progress in aviation was due to engine technology. This book shows how P&W gave credibility to such a statement.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781600867118
  • Publisher: American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics
  • Publication date: 12/1/2009
  • Pages: 548
  • Sales rank: 390,384
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Jack Connors joined Pratt & Whitney in 1948, following three years in the Army Air Corps in World War II, and his graduation from MIT with an MS in Mechanical Engineering. His 35-year career at P&W included engineering, domestic and international marketing, and program management. He was East Hartford Engineering's representative working with the Air Force in the F100 engine competition to assist P&W's Florida Research & Development Center's efforts. He was in charge of the marketing campaigns that launched the Boeing 767 at United Air Lines and the Airbus A310 at SwissAir with the JT9D engine. His last assignment was representing P&W's Commercial Products Division in creating the International Aero Engines collaboration. He retired in 1983 as Vice President of Advanced Engine Programs. Since then, he has been a consultant to P&W and International Aero Engines, and an active volunteer as an engine curator and a fundraiser for the New England Air Museum. The Connecticut Society of Professional Engineers named him the Engineer of the Year Award in 1987 for his volunteer work on acid-rain monitoring in Connecticut. To resurrect the dormant P&W Archives and develop a computer database of its contents, he worked with another volunteer for over seven years, an effort that made it possible to write this book.

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Table of Contents

Preface xv

Acknowledgments xvii

Chapter 1 Pre-Flight Briefing 1

Introduction 1

How the Marketplace Changed Since 1925 1

Pratt & Whitney's Five Defining Moments 8

Pratt & Whitney's Founders 9

The Founding of Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Company 12

The R-1340 Wasp Joins the Navy and Air Mail Service 16

The Formation of United Aircraft & Transport Corporation 18

The Break Up of UA&TC 19

Pratt & Whitney's Great Contribution in World War II 22

The Aircraft Gas Turbine Business after World War II 23

Rentschler's Accomplishments 27

Rentschler's Final Years 28

References 28

Chapter 2 The Early Years 31

George Mead and His First Pratt & Whitney Engine 31

Liquid-Cooled Engines 32

Air-Cooled Engines 33

Summary of Aircraft Engine Growth 47

George Mead and the T-Engine 48

Mead and Willgoos Design the Wasp in 1925 50

Mead Flies with Wasp on Mail Routes 57

Epilogue for George J. Mead 58

References 60

Chapter 3 The Later Piston Engine Years 61

Introduction 61

Hobbs Reveals the Secret of Success 63

Succession of Pratt & Whitney Engines 64

The Wasp and the Hornet 67

Roles of Wasp and Hornet in International Commercial Aviation 79

Wasp and Hornet Engines Are Refined 82

The Contributions of Two Engineers 120

References 123

Chapter 4 The Piston Engine Experience 125

Introduction 125

Pratt & Whitney Flight Test Organization 125

R-4360 Test Flight 127

R-4360 Flies from Hawaii to Chicago 129

R-1830 Brings the Crew in Safely 130

R-1830 and Superchargers 132

Life as a Test Engineer 134

R-2800C Program 136

Controllable-Pitch Propeller 137

R-2800-32W's Rough Idle 138

R-1830s and the Luftwaffe 138

R-1830 Bearing Problem139

R-1535 and Howard Hughes 141

Boeing 247's Wasp Engine Whine 142

Pratt & Whitney Engines with Fuel Injection 143

Liquid-Cooled Engines-Side Trip to Nowhere 145

Looking Back on Piston Engine Development 149

Final Observations on Piston Engines 157

References 159

Chapter 5 Transition To Gas Turbines 161

Looking Back 161

Beginnings of PT1 162

PT1 Program 167

Hobbs Moves to Gas Turbines 172

PT2 Program Begins 176

PT2 in the Lockheed Constellation 182

Two Engineers Rise to Prominence at Pratt & Whitney 182

References 186

Chapter 6 WWII Ends and Turbojet Development Begins 189

Pratt & Whitney Service Organization 189

Army and Navy Engine Training School 192

Turbojet Development Begins 196

American Companies Enter the Jet Age 197

European Development 199

Pratt & Whitney's First Turbojet Success 203

The J48 (JT7) 208

References 214

Chapter 7 Birth of the Two-Spool Turbojet 215

Introduction 215

Genesis of the J57 216

Meeting the Challenge of Creating Enough Propulsion 219

Concerns Regarding High-Pressure-Ratio Compressors 221

Technical Concerns of a Twin-Spool Turbojet 221

Air Force Approval for PT4 to JT3 Switch 223

Description of JT3-8 224

Description of the JT3-10 226

Soderberg Recommends a New Start 227

JT3A with a Wasp Waist Design 229

The J57 in the B-52 238

JT3 Commercial Derivative 252

Hobbs' Reflections on the Dawn of the Jet Age 254

References 255

Chapter 8 Four Moreturbojets 257

Introduction 257

J75 (JT4) Twin-Spool Turbojet 257

J52 (JT8) 270

J91 (JT9) 279

J60 (JT12) Turbojet 285

References 290

Chapter 9 Transition To Turbofans 291

Introduction 291

Birth of the Turbofan 291

T57/PT5-Pratt & Whitney's Most Powerful Turboprop 293

JT10 Afterburning Turbo-fan 294

JT3D/TF33-Turbofan Fever Fuels Innovation 296

Three Programs Herald the Future 310

Suntan Project 310

Conclusion 317

References 317

Chapter 10 Higher and Faster 319

Introduction 319

RL10 Program 319

J58-Growing Mach Capability 321

Liquid Air Condensing Engine (LACE) 333

Florida Research & Development Center 334

References 339

Chapter 11 Going Commercial 341

Introduction 341

Origin of the TF30 (JTF10A) 341

JT8D-Feet First into Commercial Service 348

40 Years in Service 364

References 366

Chapter 12 Challenges and New Turbofans 367

Introduction 367

Supporting Activities for Changing Times 367

Developing Space Technology 373

Developing New Engine Technology 377

Supersonic Transport Engine Program 379

F100-The Ultimate Military Engine 382

The Great Engine War 393

The Battle Won 395

References 395

Chapter 13 High-Bypass Fans 397

Introduction 397

Light Weight Gas Generator (LWGG) Program 397

C-5 Engine Program 399

Path to the JT9D Program 403

JT9D Program for Boeing's 747 Begins 405

JT9D Engine Description 409

Synopsis of the First 16 Months in the Air 414

Evolution of the JT9D Family 415

Adventures in Marketing 417

References 424

Chapter 14 The Modern Era 427

Introduction 427

JT10D Path to the PW-2037 427

Evolution of the B-757 and PW2037 434

International Aero Engines (IAE) and the V2500 439

PW4000 Series of High-Bypass Engines 442

Engines Following the PW4000 447

PW6000 448

What Became of the F100? 451

F119-Advances in Engine Development 452

Integrated Product Development (IPD) 458

Thrust Vectoring 463

F135-How Times Have Changed 464

PW1000G 469

Advances in Engine Technology 472

References 472

Chapter 15 Looking Back 80 Years 473

Aviation in History 473

Collier Awards as Overview of Aviation History 474

Piston Engine Era 474

Gas Turbine Engine Era 476

Progress in Airframe Technology 478

Airframe's Demand for Power 481

Progress in Engine Technology 483

Progress in Engine Controls 492

Then and Now 496

Pratt & Whitney's Finest Moments 496

Rentschler's Legacy 500

References 502

Appendix: Pratt & Whitney Medallion 503

Afterword 505

Early Influences 505

Early Days at Pratt & Whitney 506

Engine Reliability-The Key to Commercial Success 507

Propulsion Paradigm Shift 507

Meeting the Inventors 508

Golden Eagles 510

Closing Comments 511

Index 513

Supporting Materials 529

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