1988-10-01

Engine Fuels and Lubrication Systems at Nakajima Aircraft Co. from 1936 - 1945 881610

The authors worked in the Engine Department at Nakajima Aircraft Co. from 1936 to 1945. Nakagawa was in the Engine Design Department, where he was involved in designing the air-cooled, radial double-row 14-cylinder 1,100 hp Sakae Model 20 engine and the radial 18-cylinder 1,800 - 2,000 hp Homare engine. Mizutani was a field engineer for these two engines and other engines. During that period we gained much experience in fuel and lubrication systems.Before the authors joined Nakajima, the company's engine development team had already developed a carburetor-based fueling system, which was subsequently used in all Nakajima engines.From 1941 on, all newly designed engines had to use 87-92 motor octane fuel by order of the Army and Navy. It was a very difficult task to change the engine specifications to meet this requirement, particularly for the Homare engine, which was initially designed for 100-octane fuel. The authors explain various steps taken to overcome this difficulty.In 1943, Nakajima's R&D team developed a low-pressure fuel injection system, which went into production just before the war ended.As for lubricants, the main lubricant changed from castor oil to mineral oil after 1937. The Homare engine design program got under way soon after that. The lubrication system design proved to be one of the most difficult problems, and a total lubrication system was planned from the beginning. At the development stage, various difficulties were encountered, including problems with the main connecting rod bearing metal. Lubrication system troubleshooting was a daily issue. In the end, it was concluded that successful management of lubrication problems was one key to the development of high-performance engines.

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