Wright R-3350-23 Cyclone

Wright R-3350-23 Cyclone aircraft engine at the New England Air Museum


Type:   18-cylinder, two-row, air-cooled, radial, piston
Displacement:   3,350 cu. in.
Weight:   2,670 lbs.
Power Output:   2,200 hp @ 2,800 rpm
NEAM Id:   53
Location:   B-29 Hangar

The R-3350 was one of the largest and most powerful piston radial aircraft engines produced. Design of the engine began in 1936 and was first run on 1937 but was plagued with catastrophic backfires. After a long evelopment and testing process, it was ready to be used to power the new Boeing B-29 which first flew on September 21, 1942. The engines remained temperamental and had a tendency to overheat. Near the end of World War II its carburetors were replaced by direct injection which helped improve reliability.

After the war, the engine was redesigned and became popular for large commercial aircraft. More P-3350-23 engines were produced than any other R-3350 model and were built by both Wright Aeronautical and the Dodge Division of Chrysler.

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