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Encyclopedia > Napier Lion
Napier Lion
Napier Lion at Brooklands Motor Museum
General characteristics
Layout W-block inline
Cooling water-cooled
Cylinders 12
Valve type poppet
Displacement 1462 in³ (25 l)
Rotation rate 2050 rpm
Power 500 hp
Power 370 kW
Weight 858 lb (290 kg)

The Lion was a 12-cylinder W-block inline aircraft engine built by Napier & Son starting in 1917, and ending in the 1930s. A number of advanced features made it the most powerful engine of its day, and kept it in production long after contemporary designs had stopped production. It is particularly well known for its use on a number of racing designs, both in aircraft and racing boats. Image File history File links LionEngine. ... Brooklands was a motor racing circuit built near Weybridge in Surrey, England. ... The W engine is an engine configuration in which the cylinder banks resemble the letter W in the same way a V engine resembles the letter V. There have been three entirely different implementations of this concept: one with three banks of cylinders, one with four and one with two... An inline engine is an internal-combustion engine with cylinders aligned in one or several rows. ... The term aircraft engine, for the purposes of this article, refers to aircraft reciprocating, or rotary, internal combustion engines as opposed to jet engines or turboprops. ... Napier & Son were one of the most important English aircraft engine manufacturers in the early to mid 20th Century. ... 1917 (MCMXVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Tuesday of the Julian calendar. ... // Events and trends The 1930s were described as an abrupt shift to more radical lifestyles, as countries were struggling to find a solution to the global depression. ... Usually considered in the context of the applied arts, engineering, architecture, and other such creative endeavours, design is used as both a noun and a verb. ... An aircraft is any machine capable of atmospheric flight. ... Lobster boat A boat is a watercraft, usually smaller than most ships. ...


Early in World War I, Napier were contracted to build aero engines from other companies designs: initially a Royal Aircraft Factory model and then Sunbeams. Both proved to be rather unreliable, and in 1916 Napier decided to design their own instead. Reasoning that the key design criteria were high power, light weight, and low frontal area, the engine was laid out with its 12 cylinders in what they called a "broad arrow" - three banks of four cylinders sharing a common crankcase. This suggested the designs first name, the Triple-Four. Today these designs, of which there were only a few, are referred to as a W-block. The engine was also advanced in form, using four valve heads with twin overhead camshafts, and a single block milled from aluminum instead of the more common separate-cylinder steel construction used on almost all other designs. World War I was primarily a European conflict with many facets: immense human sacrifice, stalemate trench warfare, and the use of new, devastating weapons - tanks, aircraft, machine guns, and poison gas. ... This article needs cleanup. ... 1916 (MCMXVI) is a leap year starting on Saturday (link will take you to calendar) // Events January-February January 1 -The first successful blood transfusion using blood that had been stored and cooled. ... The camshaft is an apparatus used in piston engines to operate poppet valves. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ...


The newly-renamed Lion's design was completed in 1917, and the first hand-built prototypes ran later that year. It was fitted to a de Havilland built DH.9 in early 1918, proving to have many cooling problems. In addition the milled block turned out to be difficult to build with any accuracy and they reverted to separate cylinders, although they remained aluminum. Both of these problems were worked out by the middle of the year and the engine entered production in June 1918. The first Lion I versions delivered 450 hp (335 kW) from their 25 litres. It then took the crown of the most powerful engine from the Liberty L-12, the excellent US wartime design of 400 hp (300 kW). Until 1920, Geoffrey de Havillands de Havilland Aircraft Company had been known as Airco, where he was owner and chief designer. ... 1918 (MCMXVIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. ... The horsepower (hp) is the name of several non-metric units of power. ... The litre (spelled litre in Commonwealth English and liter in American English) is a unit of capacity. ... General characteristics Layout V-12 Cooling water Cylinders 12 Valve type Displacement 27 litres Rotation rate 1700 rpm Power 400 hp Power (300 kW Weight 383kg The Liberty L-12 was a 27 litre water-cooled 45 degree V-12 aircraft engine of 400 horsepower (300 kW). ... ...


As the most powerful engine available (particularly after a turbocharger became an option in 1922), the Lion went on to be a huge commercial success. Through the years between the wars the Lion was ubiquitous, and Napiers manufactured little else. They stopped making cars in 1925, and little thought was given to replacing their world-famous product. Between the wars it powered over 160 different types of aircraft. Turbocharger cutaway A turbocharger is an exhaust gas driven compressor used in internal-combustion engines to increase the power output of the engine by increasing the mass of oxygen entering the engine. ... 1922 (MCMXXII) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ...


In highly-tuned racing forms the engine could reach 1,300 hp (970 kW), and it was used to break a host of world records: height, air speed, and long distance in aircraft, water speed (delivering 1,375 hp (1,025 kW) in a highly tuned Lion for 100 miles per hour (160 km/h) in 1933) and even land speed: Lions powered many of Sir Malcolm Campbell's record breakers (including over 250 mph (400 km/h) in 1932) and John Cobb's 394 MPH Railton in 1947 - a record that came well after the Lion had passed its prime and stood until 1960 when Mickey Thompson and Challenger 1 exceeded 400mph and returned the record to the US. The record had been held by English drivers for 32 years. Lions powered successful entrants in the most prestigious event in air racing, the Schneider Cup, in 1922 and 1927, but were then dropped by Supermarine in favour of a new, especially designed for racing, engine from Rolls-Royce. Engine tuning is the adjustment, modification or design of internal combustion engines to yield more performance, either in terms of power output or economy. ... 1933 (MCMXXXIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will take you to calendar). ... Sir Malcolm Campbell (born March 11, 1885 in Chislehurst, Kent, England - died December 31, 1948) gained the world speed record on land and on water at various times during the 1920s and 1930s using vehicles called Bluebird. ... John Rhodes Cobb (December 2, 1899 - September 29, 1952) was a British racing motorist. ... 1947 (MCMXLVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... The Schneider Trophy (or prize or cup) for seaplanes was announced by Jacques Schneider, a financier, balloonist and aircraft enthusiast, in 1911 with a prize of roughly £1,000. ... 1922 (MCMXXII) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... 1927 (MCMXXVII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will take you to calendar). ... Supermarine was a British ship and aircraft manufacturer. ... The Rolls Royce logo Rolls-Royce is a set of several companies, all deriving from the British automobile and aero-engine manufacturing company founded by Henry Royce and C.S. Rolls in 1906. ...


In the 1930s a new generation of much larger and more powerful engines started to appear, and the Lion was clearly past its prime. Gradually, they fell further and further behind. By the time the Bristol Hercules and the Rolls-Royce Merlin arrived in the late 1930s, the Lion was too small and old-fashioned. // Events and trends The 1930s were described as an abrupt shift to more radical lifestyles, as countries were struggling to find a solution to the global depression. ... Bristol Hercules engine The Hercules was a 14_cylinder two_row radial aircraft engine produced by the Bristol Engine Company starting in 1939. ... The Rolls Royce logo Rolls-Royce is a set of several companies, all deriving from the British automobile and aero-engine manufacturing company founded by Henry Royce and C.S. Rolls in 1906. ... The Merlin is an aircraft engine built during World War II by Rolls-Royce. ...


A marine version of the Lion, called not surprisingly the Sea Lion was used to power high speed rescue launches operated by the RAF. Known as the Whaleback from the distinctive curve to its deck, the Type 2 HSL (High Speed Launch) was used to rescue Allied aircrew from the sea after they were shot down during the Second World War. ...


Turning away from the W layout, Napier started on the design of two new engines using the even more compact H engine layout. The 16-cylinder Rapier produced 400 hp (300 kW), the 24-cylinder Dagger delivered just under to 1000 hp (750 kW). However these were both smaller than contemporary designs from other companies, and Napier had to start fresh with a new sleeve valve design, which eventually matured into the superb Sabre. An H engine (or H-block) is an engine configuration in which the cylinders are aligned so that if viewed from the front appear to be in a horizontal letter H. An H engine can be viewed as two flat engines, one atop the other. ... Sleeve valves are a way of building valves for piston engines that have a number of advantages over the more common poppet valve, used in most engines, as well as disadvantages that have precluded their widespread adoption. ... The Sabre was a 24-cylinder sleeve valve piston aircraft engine designed by Major Frank Halford and built by Napier & Son during WWII. It was one of the most powerful piston aircraft engines in the world, especially for inline designs, developing over 3,500 horsepower (2,200 kW) in its...


Specifications

Layout: twelve-cylinder, W-block, water-cooled inline
Bore by stroke: 5.5 by 5.125 in (140 by 130 mm)
Displacement: 1462 in³ (25 l)
Compression ratio: (unknown)
Power: 500 hp (370 kW) at 2050 rpm
Weight: 858 lb (290 kg)


Lists of Aircraft | Aircraft manufacturers | Aircraft engines | Aircraft engine manufacturers This list of aircraft is sorted alphabetically, beginning with the name of the manufacturer (or, in certain cases, designer). ... This is a list of aircraft manufacturers (in alphabetic order). ... List of aircraft engines - Wikipedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... This is a list of aircraft engine manufacturers both past and present. ...


Airports | Airlines | Air forces | Aircraft weapons | Missiles | Timeline of aviation This is a list of airlines in operation. ... This is a list of Air Forces, sorted alphabetically by country. ... This is a list of aircraft weapons, past and present. ... Below is a list of (links to pages on) missiles, sorted alphabetically by name. ... This is a timeline of aviation history. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Napier City Online - Hawke's Bay - New Zealand (309 words)
The arms of the City of Napier, together with the crest and supporters, were granted to the City in August 1951.
The golden fleece is the heraldic symbol of the wool industry of which Napier is one of the largest centres in New Zealand.
In the claw of the hawk is a Maori waihaka or bone club, representative of the Maori race of the district.
Napier Lion - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (620 words)
The Lion was a 12-cylinder W-block inline aircraft engine built by Napier and Son starting in 1917, and ending in the 1930s.
Lions powered successful entrants in the most prestigious event in air racing, the Schneider Cup, in 1922 and 1927, but were then dropped by Supermarine in favour of a new, especially designed for racing, engine from Rolls-Royce.
A marine version of the Lion, called not surprisingly the Sea Lion was used to power high speed rescue launches operated by the RAF.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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