Allison V1710-81 (F20R)

Allison V1710-81 (F20R) aircraft engine at the New England Air Museum


Type:   12-cylinder, supercharged, “V” piston engine
Displacement:   1,710 cu. in.
Weight:   1,350 lbs.
Power Output:   1,125 hp at 3,000 rpm (max power)
NEAM Id:   2
Location:   Military Hangar

The V-1710 is a V-12 liquid-cooled engine with 1,710 cubic inches of displacement and was the only American liquid-cooled engine to see service in World War II. Over 70,000 units were produced between 1931 and 1948.

The Allison Division of General Motors initiated the development of V-1710 in 1930 to meet the needs of the U.S. Army Air Corps for a 1,000 hp engine for use in a new generation of streamlined fighters and bombers. In the development of various versions it produced up to 1,600 hp. The design allowed for left- or right- hand rotation set up, easy changes of superchargers, and different drive-gear ratios on a single production line.

The U.S. Navy purchased the first V-1710's, the “B” model without a supercharger, for use on the Akron and Macon airships. The Army Air Corp purchased its first V-1710 in December 1932. The Depression slowed development and it was not until 1937 that it completed its Army Air Corp test program.

The “F” model, which includes this V-1710-81 variant (Allison model F20R), had a higher output, less frontal area and shorted overall length than earlier models.

Aircraft powered by the V-1710-81 include:

  • Curtiss P-40M and N Warhawk
  • Lockheed P-38 Lightning
  • North American P-51A Mustang

After the war, V-1710's became popular as a powerplant for hydroplane and racing boats, drag racers, land speed racers.

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