Re: aircraft engine names

From:         Steve Lacker <>
Organization: applied research laboratories
Date:         14 Jul 96 22:43:27 
References:   1 2
Followups:    1
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"Philip Morten" <> wrote:
>British manufacturers named their engines like this:
>        Piston engines  Birds of prey   Condor, Kestrel, Falcon
>        Gas turbines    Rivers          Derwent, Nene, Tay
>Bristol                 Mythology       Jupiter, Pegasus, Hercules
>        Piston engines  Edged weapons   Sabre, Rapier, Javelin
>        Gas turbines    Deer etc        Gazelle, Eland

Waittaminute! Wasn't the Napier Lion a piston engine?

>Metropoliton Vickers    Precious stones Beryl, Sapphire
>Armstrong Siddeley
>        Piston engines  Cats            Cheetah, Lynx
>        Gas turbines    Snakes          Adder, Viper
>de Havilland
>        Gas turbines    G*              Goblin, Ghost, Gyron

Other than my one nitpick (and I could be wrong on that one) this is a very
interesting list. I had never realized that there was a methodology in the

David Lednicer <> added:

>P&W used stinging insect names for piston engines - Wasp, Hornet,
>Yellow Jacket.  The JT3/J-57 was originally the Turbo Wasp, but this
>dissapeared and then everything became JTx and now everthing is PWxxxx.
>GE never has named engines and Curtiss-Wright piston engines were always
>windstorms (Cyclone, Whirlwind, etc.).

The insect/windstorm names worked well early on, but when the R-4360 was called
the "Wasp Major" and the R-3350 (I think..) was called the "Twin Cyclone", it
was clear that the well was running dry. Somehow the "Pratt and Whitney
Parasitic Multillid" just doesn't have a romantic ring to it... Besides, all
red-blooded Americans will be more stirred by the image of a 4360 cubic inch
piston engine than by any wasp name. Now what is that in liters? ;-)

(Its about 71.4, by the way. Kinda makes even an 8 liter truck engine look

Steve Lacker	/	Applied Research Laboratories, The University of Texas
512-835-3286	/	PO Box 8029, Austin TX 78713-8029