THE rapid increase in the size of our air transports, as well as the requirements for higher cruising speeds, forewarn of the need of powerplants of decidedly greater power. The further development of the existing standard types may be relied upon to ultimately provide at least 50 per cent greater output. There is, however, definite evidence now of the need of engines of even greater power in the period immediately ahead, which need has focused attention on other types in which additional displacement may be provided through the employment of a greater number of cylinders.
Studies indicate that there is an opportunity of reducing the powerplant drag sufficiently to effect a saving in fuel at least as great as is promised by further improvement in specific consumption. For this reason the form and location of the new powerplants, as well as the method chosen for cooling them, will be dictated largely by the resulting effect on operating costs. It seems likely that two new engine types will result in which twice as many cylinders may be employed as is now common practice and proportionately greater power will be provided.
The problems involved are decidedly more complex than hitherto have been encountered, but the industry is now equipped with both personnel and experience to deal effectively with them. For this reason, there is little question that powerplant development will keep pace with the requirements.