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Turbochargers


Barton
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I often wonder about why these were not more extensively used in the war. They had been around for a long time and began to see use as early as 1925. I know the P-38 and 47 utilized them and the P-47 was a monster at high altitude. Imagine if they'd stuck one on a 190!

 

Superchargers are almost as complex and lose efficiency at higher altitudes requiring multiple stages and the 200m difference between one stage and another has huge implications. Absolutely none of that with a turbo.

 

Maybe it's just because I'm a turbo guy when it comes to cars, but in a plane you don't have to shift so there's no turbo lag (and even if you are switching back and on the throttle it wouldn't be much anyhow with a v12 or 18 cylinder radial pushing it)

 

I'll acknowledge that I haven't really looked but I don't know of any documents that would explain why one was preferred over the other.

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Yes they are powered by exhaust gasses but the plumbing required for cooling wouldn't necessarily be long. It was in the P47 because they put the turbo just forward of the tailwheel. Even so, the advantages still stand. It may be best the Luftwaffe didn't because one could only imagine how the war would have changed with 190s having unimpeded high altitude performance.

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A pretty good discussion of the topic here:

 

http://ww2aircraft.net/forum/engines/turbo-chargers-16798.html

 

I think that the size requirement for turbocharging might be the most likely limiting factor. Exhaust ducting as well as induction ducting is required along with inter / after coolers. So turbos were in acft that could make room for the stuff... the Jug was as large as it was chiefly to accommodate the turbo systems. The P-38 had two convenient booms (maybe a factor in Kelly Johnson's decision to have such an unconventional design). B-17 and B-24 of course had room. 

 

Cost (as always) was probably a factor as well as metallurgy limitations of the time. The turbine lives and works in a hellish environment.

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