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Pratt & Whitney R-2800

From PlaneSpottingWorld, for aviation fans everywhere
File:Pratt-Whitney R-2800.jpg
Pratt & Whitney R-2800

The Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp was a famous World War II-era aircraft engine, and part of the long-lived Wasp family. It was a two-row, 18-cylinder, air-cooled radial. Displacement was 2,804 cubic inches (46 liters); bore and stroke were 5.75" and 6". It is easily identified in a nose-on view from the twin magnetos mounted, each one offset to one side, atop the engine reduction gear housing on the engine's front.

The R-2800 is considered one of the premier radials ever designed. It became legendary when used in several aircraft during World War II, notably the F4U Corsair, P-47 Thunderbolt, and the F6F Hellcat. During the war, Pratt & Whitney were always coming up with new ideas to upgrade this already powerful workhorse, most notably water injection to give emergency power in combat.

After World War II, the engine was used in the Korean War, and surplus World War II aircraft powered with the Double Wasp served with other countries well past the Korean War, some being retired as late as the latter part of the 1960s when the aircraft were replaced. The R-2800 also powered post-war propliners from Douglas, Lockheed, and Martin. Today, more than 60 years after the first Double Wasp was built, it is still used in many restored vintage aircraft in air shows, and sees frequent service worldwide on such aircraft as the Canadair CL215 water bomber.

Perhaps the ultimate radial aircraft engine, in terms of reliability and longevity, was the R-2800-CB17. This engine was rated at 2500 HP for one minute with 100/130 octane fuel and water-alcohol injection (to increase the detonation margin, so called "wet" power), at 2800 RPM and more than 60 inches of manifold pressure. It became legendary on the Douglas DC-6B and Convair 440 airliners and is still in use today on these aircraft.


Unit numbers ending in "W" indicate engines with water-methanol emergency power boost system.

  • R-2800-8 - 2,000 hp (1,491 kW)
  • R-2800-9 - 2,000 hp (1,491 kW)
  • R-2800-10 - 2,000 hp (1,491 kW)
  • R-2800-10W - 2,000 hp (1,491 kW)
  • R-2800-21 - 2,000 hp (1,491 kW)
  • R-2800-27 - 2,000 hp (1,491 kW)
  • R-2800-31 - 2,000 hp (1,491 kW)
  • R-2800-41 - 2,000 hp (1,491 kW)
  • R-2800-43 - 2,000 hp (1,491 kW)
  • R-2800-51 - 2,000 hp (1,491 kW)
  • R-2800-65 - 2,000 hp (1,491 kW)
  • R-2800-18W - 2,100 hp (1,567 kW) , -18WC 2,450 hp (1,827 kw)
  • R-2800-34W - 2,100 hp (1,567 kW)
  • R-2800-54 - 2,100 hp (1,567 kW)
  • R-2800-21W - 2,300 hp (1,715 kW)
  • R-2800-59 - 2,300 hp (1,715 kW)
  • R-2800-59W - 2,300 hp (1,715 kW) , 2,535 hp (1,890 kW)
  • R-2800-99W - 2,300 hp (1,715 kW)
  • R-2800-48W - 2,400 hp (1,790 kW)
  • R-2800-57 - 2,800 hp (2,088 kW)
  • R-2800-57C - 2,800 hp (2,088 kW)
  • R-2800-73 - 2,800 hp (2,088 kW)
  • R-2800-77 - 2,800 hp (2,088 kW)


This is the engine specified for P-47M and P-47N. The engine specs reveal a "C" crankcase with the Bendix Scintilla DF-18LN magneto. So, it should have the late-style barrel shaped/bolted gear reduction unit with two octagonal distributors (10:30 and 1:30 position) and a single dual magneto (at 12:00). The distribution harness was the square-section cast version. (Visually identical to the engine(s) in the F4U-4, F7F or F8F and some P-61C). The engine also used a single stage, single speed supercharger (due to the P-47's use of a turbocharger), and a downdraft Bendix/Stromberg carburetor sitting at the top of the auxiliary section.

Specifications (R-2800-54)


Aircraft usage

A partial list of aircraft that were powered by the R-2800 (and a few prototypes that utilized it at one point) includes the

Related contents

Related development

Comparable engines


Jane, Fred T. Jane’s Fighting Aircraft of World War II. London: Studio, 1946. ISBN 1 85170 493 0.

Chant & Taylor The World's Greatest Aircraft Copyright © 2006 Regency House Publishing Ltd. ISBN 13: 978-0-7858-2010-9

External links

cs:Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp de:Pratt & Whitney R-2800 it:Pratt & Whitney R-2800 ja:プラット・アンド・ホイットニー R-2800 pl:Pratt & Whitney R-2800