Diesel Aircraft Engines: A Delayed Promise from the 1930’s 1999-01-5583
Interest in and development work on the aviation diesel is building.
In the 1930’s and early 1940’s, the diesel engine was adapted for aircraft use. It gave a surprisingly good showing as a potential replacement for gasoline fueled powerplants, and novel configurations were tried out in both airplanes and airships. Packard Motor Car company started the experimentation, but development spanned international boundaries, involving Mercedes Benz, Maybach, and Rolls-Royce, as well as less well-known organizations.
One company, Junkers, developed a reliable engine used in volume by Lufthansa for long range routes and by the Luftwaffe in limited applications.