Alfa Romeo 135

The Alfa Romeo 135 Tornado was an Italian 18-cylinder radial engine designed by Giustino Cattaneo in 1934–1935.[1]

Alfa Romeo 135
Alfa Romeo 135 RC32
Type 18-cylinder radial engine
Manufacturer Alfa Romeo
First run 1938
Number built ~150

Design and development

The Alfa 135 consists of two nine-cylinder radial rows, back to back, operating a two-throw crankshaft. Cattaneo left Alfa Romeo in 1936, leaving the development of the 135 to eng. Bossi and his staff, but without success. At the time of its first running in 1938 and 1939 it was one of the most powerful radial engines in the world, generating just less than 1,492 kW (2,001 hp) on 100 octane fuel, but the standard fuel available was 87 octane, with which the 135 developed 890–1,190 kW (1,200–1,600 hp).[2]

Despite the obvious potential, this engine was affected by many reliability problems. Although many mechanical defects were addressed during testing, it suffered from overheating and vibrations so seriously that it was rejected from service. Up to 1944 approximately 150 were made, none of which were fitted in operational aircraft.

Further development resulted in the Alfa Romeo 136, but this remain a paper project before the Armistice in September 1943 intervened.

Applications

Variants

136 R.C.25
Experimental derivative of the 135, probably not built, 1,765 kW (2,367 hp) at sea level, 1,360 kW (1,820 hp) at 2,500 m (8,200 ft)[2]
135 R.C.32
1,208.03 kW (1,620 hp)
135 R.C.34
1,194 kW (1,601 hp)
135 R.C.45
136 R.C.65
Experimental derivative of the 135, probably not built, 1,618 kW (2,170 hp) for Take Off, 1,214 kW (1,628 hp) at 6,500 m (21,300 ft)[2]
136 R.C.100
Rated at 10,000 m (33,000 ft)

Specifications (135 R.C.32)

Data from Aircraft Engines of the World 1945[5] Archivio Storico Alfa Romeo - Volume II[2]

General characteristics

  • Type: 18-cylinder air-cooled radial engine
  • Bore: 146 mm (5.748 in)
  • Stroke: 160 mm (6.299 in)
  • Displacement: 48.216 l (2,942.3 cu in)
  • Length: 1,788 mm (70.39 in)
  • Diameter: 1,315 mm (51.77 in)
  • Dry weight: 950 kg (2,094.39 lb)
  • Designer: Cattaneo
  • Frontal Area: 1.35 m2 (14.5 sq ft)

Components

  • Valvetrain: 2x inlet valves and 2x exhaust va lves per cylinder operated by pushrods and rockers
  • Supercharger: Gear-driven, 9.26:1 ratio, supercharger
  • Fuel system: 1x Zenith-Stromberg NA-Z160RGSL updraught carburettor with automatic mixture and boost control
  • Fuel type: 87 octane
  • Oil system: 551.6 kPa (80 psi), dry sump.
  • Oil grade (viscosity): 20.5 cSt (100 S.U. secs)
    • Oil consumption: 0.009 kg/(kW h) (0.015 lb/(hp h))
  • Cooling system: Air-cooled
  • Reduction gear: Epicyclic bevel reduction gear, 0.5:1 ratio.
  • Starter: Garelli compressed air starter
  • Ignition: 2x Marelli MF18 magnetoes, 2x 18 mm (0.71 in) long reach spark plugs per cylinder, fed by a shielded harness.

Performance

  • Power output:
  • Take-off (135 R.C.32): 1,208.03 kW (1,620 hp) at 2,400 rpm
  • Military(135 R.C.32): 1,043.98 kW (1,400 hp) at 2,400 rpm at 3,200 m (10,500 ft)
  • Cruising (135 R.C.32): 820.27 kW (1,100 hp) at 1,900 rpm at 4,000 m (13,000 ft)
  • Take-off (135 R.C.34): 1,118.55 kW (1,500 hp) at 2,400 rpm
  • Military(135 R.C.34): 1,043.98 kW (1,400 hp) at 2,400 rpm at 3,400 m (11,200 ft)
  • Take-off (136 R.C.34): 1,316.16 kW (1,765 hp)
  • Military (136 R.C.34): 1,014.15 kW (1,360 hp) at 2,500 m (8,200 ft)
  • Take-off (136 R.C.65): 1,206.54 kW (1,618 hp)
  • Military (136 R.C.65): 905.28 kW (1,214 hp) at 6,500 m (21,300 ft)

See also

Comparable engines

Related lists

References

  1. Italiano, Patrick. "STORY OF THE ALFA ROMEO FACTORY AND PLANTS" (PDF). enzociliberto.it. p. 10. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2007-08-29.
  2. Archivio Storico Alfa Romeo - Volume II. Torino, November 1998
  3. "CANT Z 1018 "Leone"". comandosupremo.com. Archived from the original on 24 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-27.
  4. "Alfa Romeo AEREI Collezione Modelli di Marco Rigoni Settembre 2005" (PDF). aerei-italiani.net. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-06-05. Retrieved 2008-06-15.
  5. Wilkinson, Paul H. (1945). Aircraft Engines of the World 1945 (2nd ed.). New York: Paul H. Wilkinson. pp. 288–289.
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