Originally published in 1995 and held in high regard, Allied Aircraft Piston Engines of World War II is Graham White’s first book – and the first published collection to document the history and development of the powerplants that enabled Allied aircraft to compete with Axis counterparts in air battles that defined much of the outcome of World War II.
“Graham White has been enamored with high-performance piston engines since childhood. Starting with model airplane engines, he later graduated into rebuilding race car engines. Thinking that car engines were ‘hot stuff,’ he was flabbergasted when he first laid eyes on a Merlin stashed away in the corner of a race car museum in the 1960s,” writes comedian and known aircraft enthusiast, Jay Leno.
Allied Aircraft Piston Engines of World War II, 2nd Edition available is available in digital and print
“The intricacy, complexity, and sheer beauty of this Merlin was a revelation. It was the personification of the old adage form follows function. Clearly aircraft engines are not designed to look ‘pretty;’ however as a by-product of their quality and aesthetic appeal, they are Graham White’s art form,” adds Leno.
The updated 432-page edition includes a new foreward by comedian and known aircraft enthusiast, Jay Leno.
Forward-thinking airplane design – such as the Supermarine Spitfire and North American P-51 Mustang – needed to develop quickly as the war raged on, and the engines that propelled these aircraft were indeed the focus of intense cutting-edge engineering efforts.
Flying higher, faster, and taking the enemy down before being noticed became a matter of life or death for the allied forces, one that ultimately secured victory for the Allies.
Revised and updated by White, the second edition coalesces multiple aspects of war-driven aviation and its amazing technical accomplishments – offering new images, information, and expanded specifications of the Rolls-Royce/Packard Merlin and the Pratt & Whitney R-2800 engines.
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William Kucinski is content editor at SAE International, Aerospace Products Group in Warrendale, Pa. Previously, he worked as a writer at the NASA Safety Center in Cleveland, Ohio and was responsible for writing the agency’s System Failure Case Studies. His interests include literally anything that has to do with space, past and present military aircraft, and propulsion technology.
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