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What would Aircraft be like if there were no Jet Engines?


DB

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OK, so rockets are a thing, but for the purposes of this What if, imagine that we're stuck with internal combustion engines. What does the next generation of "superfighters" look like? What technical limits need to be beaten to death with the slide rule?

 

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I think the most sever one would be propellers tips operating in the transonic regime. Or, perhaps the Caproni-Campini N. 1 is not a dead end anymore.

There is the complexity of big alternative engines. Crews of Iberia, the Spanish flag carrier, used to say the Lockheed Constellation was the best tri-motor in the world, as it was nor rare for a engine to fail in flight.

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deliveryService?max_w=800&id=NASM-A19610129000cp06

That is the ultimate design of airframes.

Engines would be H-24 layout:

220px-H-engine.gif

Recovery turbines are highly useful but are more suited for bombers and transports because they operate in a narrow rpm range. More useful is staged turbocharging. 

Series_compound_twin_turbo.jpg

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20 minutes ago, Markus Becker said:

They'd have engines with so called power recovery turbines. An experimental version of the Allison V-1710 had one. I don't recall the exact bhp but it's pretty wild considering what the engine started with. 

Wright R-3350 Turbo Compound

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wright_R-3350_Duplex-Cyclone

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1 hour ago, Markus Becker said:

Maybe the double Allison gets another shot too. The B-29 version with that engine exceeded 400 mph and that was without the power recovery turbine. 

 

The B-50 was the ultimate version of the B-29, once the fault-prone R-3350s were replaced by P&W R-4360s.

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13 minutes ago, sunday said:

The B-50 was the ultimate version of the B-29, once the fault-prone R-3350s were replaced by P&W R-4360s.

That's what my dad, a former B-29/50 and KC-97 pilot, told me many years ago.

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10 hours ago, Markus Becker said:

Was but who knows what might have happened if the V-1710 and V-3420 had been continued?  

That is assuming large liquid-cooled inline engines were not a dead end - most, if not all, of the "superprop" fighters that were started to be designed in late WWII used air-cooled radial engines.

There is also the sad story of the DB-606 to consider.

Napier Nomad could be an exception, however.

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