Death of the Sleeve Valve Aircraft engine

This forum is for discussions on the noteworthy events, people, places, and circumstances of both the past and the present (note: pop culture etc... is on the back porch).
Post Reply
toad
Posts: 2642
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2008 5:00 pm

Death of the Sleeve Valve Aircraft engine

Post by toad »

There was a manufacture's love affair for the Napier sleeve valve aircraft engine that continued despite it readily apparent draw backs. Mostly in the early days it used a lot of oil that slipped out the exhaust and its tendency to slobber the oil over everything. Then came the Whirlwind twin engine fighter . They only built 100 of them . The twenty four , H form , engine , had a tendency to after fire , back fire , and unexpectedly violently explode. The manufacture of course tried to blame the pilots . Considering the loss of pilots cost the government more than the aircraft the Government started listening to all the complaints about the manufacture of the engines and the aircraft.
I wonder if a successful sleeve valve engine could be built with modern materials or would the cost of the materials would be too high . Also what would be the market for even a small sleeve valve engine?
Greg
Posts: 8430
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:15 pm

Re: Death of the Sleeve Valve Aircraft engine

Post by Greg »

The Whirlwind was powered by Peregrines. There didn't seem to be anything especially wrong with that engine, it just needed some more development. Which it never got cause of RR guessing wrong - it was too small. They cancelled it to focus development effort on the Merlin. Pretty sure the Whirlwind was too small to take any other properly developed (*finished*) engine so with no engine it became a dead end.

Bristol developed a series of sleeve valve radial engines, the Hercules and Centaurus were pretty successful and built (especially the Hercules) in large numbers. Centaurus was the engine in the Sea Fury.

As I understand it, sleeve valve designs have certain theoretical advantages (you always see references to papers by Harry Ricardo) over conventional valves, as well as disadvantages. It turned out to be easier to deal with the disadvantages of the conventional valves, leaving sleeve valve designs with relatively small advantages you pay too much for.

Turbine engines made it all largely moot.
Maybe we're just jaded, but your villainy is not particularly impressive. -Ennesby

If you know what you're doing, you're not learning anything. -Unknown
Sanity is the process by which you continually adjust your beliefs so they are predictively sound. -esr
BDK
Posts: 1552
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2014 11:14 pm

Re: Death of the Sleeve Valve Aircraft engine

Post by BDK »

Konigsegg cars use rotary valve engines. That might be a better idea, now
User avatar
HTRN
Posts: 11826
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2008 3:05 am

Re: Death of the Sleeve Valve Aircraft engine

Post by HTRN »

BDK wrote: Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:38 am Konigsegg cars use rotary valve engines. That might be a better idea, now
There was some interest in them like a decade ago, iirc it was Coates who had come out with an updated design, for F1 cars..
HTRN, I would tell you that you are an evil fucker, but you probably get that a lot ~ Netpackrat

Describing what HTRN does as "antics" is like describing the wreck of the Titanic as "a minor boating incident" ~ First Shirt
Post Reply