Franklin O-805-2

Franklin O-805-2 aircraft engine at the New England Air Museum


Type:   12-cylinder, air-cooled, horizontally-opposed, piston
Displacement:   805 cu. in
Weight:   590 lbs.
Power Output:   450 hp
Year:   c.1943
NEAM Id:   63
Location:   Military Hangar

The O-805-2 is a horizontally-opposed, air-cooled 12-cylinder engine that produced 450 hp. It was built near the end of World War II to be used in radio-controlled pilotless drones to be guided from an accompanying control plane. It was planned to be used by the U.S. Army Air Force but before the USAAF plane was built the program was canceled. The U.S Navy also planned to use the engine in a TDR drone, but they changed the powerplants to Wright R-975 radial engines.

In October, 1944 the Navy flew a successful drone mission against Japanese anti-aircraft facilities on the South Pacific. In succeeding months, the Navy flew 46 guided drones with 21 direct hits on facilities in Bougainville and the main Japanese Navy port of Rabaul.

The drones used low-performance engines, used few strategic materials, and could carry 2,000 lbs. of bombs or a torpedo. They laid the basic groundwork for the modern cruise missile.

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