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Encyclopedia > Allison T40

The Allison T40 was the production of the YT40. It was an attempt to produce a high power turboprop engine by combining two T38 turboshaft engines side-by-side with a joint gearbox to combine power and reduce shaft speed to that necessary for a propeller. This combination was inevitably used with a contra-rotating propellers system. The Allison Engine Company was an aircraft engine manufacturer that was acquired by Rolls-Royce in 1995. ... Schematic diagram showing the operation of a simplified turboshaft engine. ... Contra-rotating propellers on a Rolls-Royce Griffon-powered P-51 unlimited racer. ...

In the late 1940s and early 1950s this engine was favored by the US Navy was included in several aircraft, the XA2D, XA2J, P5Y, R3Y, and the two VTOL developments, the XFV-1 and XFY-1. The United States Navy (USN) is the branch of the United States armed forces responsible for naval operations. ... The Skysharks engine was mounted underneath the forward-mounted cockpit, driving a huge contra-rotating propeller. ... The Convair R3Y Tradewind was a giant turboprop-powered flying boat for the United States Navy which entered service in 1954. ... The Hawker Harrier, one of the famous examples of a plane with VTOL capability. ... The XFV-1. ... Convair XFY-1 Pogo The Convair XFY Pogo tailsitter was an experiment in vertical takeoff and landing. ...

As the individual power plants were clutched into the gearbox, it was intended in most instances that the aircraft could cruise on one half the engine and only engage the second power-section when there was need. In practice the system did not work so well. Failure to recognize that one of the T38s had failed, and its compressor was devouring power produced by the other section, led to the loss of the first prototype XA2D-1 and its pilot Lt. Cmdr. Hugh Wood on 14 December 1950. This is a list of aviation-related events from 1950: Events Arrow Air is founded March March 20 - Royal Air Force Avro Lincoln bombers are sent to Singapore to be used against the Communist guerillas of Malaya in the Malayan Emergency. ...

The major problems of the T40 were its fragile gearbox, and the prop-control system which used 25 vacuum tubes, and was far from reliable. In electronics, a vacuum tube or (outside North America) thermionic valve or just valve, is a device generally used to amplify, switch or otherwise modify, a signal by controlling the movement of electrons in an evacuated space. ...

The T40 never produced the 5,500 horsepower it was supposed to deliver, and was plagued by gearbox failures, runaway props and prop control failures.

The failure of the T40 was a blow to navy aviation in the early 1940s almost as severe as the even bigger J40 fiasco which affected diverse but important programs such as the F4D, A3D, and F3H. Westinghouse J40 The Westinghouse J40 was a turbojet engine designed by the Bureau of Aeronautics in early 1946 to power several fighter aircraft. ... The Douglas F4D Skyray (later redesignated F-6 Skyray) was a carrier-based fighter built by the Douglas Aircraft Company. ... The A-3 Skywarrior was the only strategic bomber ever built for the United States Navy. ... The McDonnell F3H Demon was a US Navy carrier-based jet fighter aircraft. ...

The only aircraft using the T40 to actually enter service was the Convair R3Y-1 and R3Y-2. Those large four-engined flying boats served primarily between Alameda and Hawaii during the mid-1950s (replacing the Martin Mars flying boats). The Martin JRM Mars was the largest flying boat ever to enter production. ...

Numerous problems with the T40s, ending in a near disaster where a R3Y managed to land with a runaway engine, resulting in a collision with a seawall in 1958.

The US Navy decided to end the program.

The T38, became the basis for the very successful family of Allison turboprop engines which have been in service starting with the C-130 over 50 years ago.

  Results from FactBites:
A2D Skyshark (1598 words)
As soon as the eventual success of the big Allison T40 double unit seemed assured, these Naval officers began searching for an air-plane in which their theories could be given the acid test.
The Navy's decision to equip a flying tactical test airplane with the new Allison T40 turboprop engine resulted is the Skyshark.
The Allisons drew in air through a pair of ducts beneath the "chin," and their exhaust exited through a pair of large ports behind the cockpit.
  More results at FactBites »



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