Friday, November 23, 2007

Most-Produced Aircraft Engine

Ever wonder which aircraft engine holds the record for being mass-produced in the greatest quantity? It helps to know what the most-produced aircraft are. The airplane at the top of that list (no surprise) is the Cessna 172, with something like forty thousand copies produced. The No. 2 plane, the Polikarpov Po-2, was produced in similar quantity. But the most-produced engine powers neither of those planes.

The tenth-most-produced airplane of all time is the Consolidated B-24 Liberator, with 18,482 manufactured. Each B-24, of course, had four engines. Just counting Liberators, that's almost 75,000 engines.

The most-produced twin-engine plane of all time, the DC-3/C-47, was powered by the same engine that the B-24 was powered by. (Can you guess what it is?) That's another 40,000 engines.

Then you have to factor in all the PBY Catalinas (another 10,000 engines), the Grumman Wildcats, and the 20 or so other aircraft types that flew behind this particular engine series.

Give up? The most-produced aircraft engine of all time is the Pratt and Whitney R-1830, with somewhere near 200,000 copies produced.

2 comments: said...

Kas, thanks for your insightful treatment of aircraft engines. I taught a propulsions course at a college for 10 years and used your Aircraft Engines book - great!

I just came across your blog today because I was referencing you to one of my students.

Regards. Tom

Kas Thomas said...

Thanks so much for the kind words, Tom.