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R-4360 Wasp Major Engine

  • Country of origin:

    United States

  • Manufacturer:

    Pratt & Whitney

  • Type:

    28-cylinder supercharged air-cooled four-row radial engine

  • Ownership:

    This engine is owned by the Pacific Coast Air Museum.

The Pratt & Whitney R-4360 Wasp Major is an American 28-cylinder four-row radial piston aircraft engine designed and built during World War 2. First run in 1944, it is the largest-displacement aviation piston engine to be mass-produced in the United States, and at 4,300 hp, the most powerful. It was the last of the Pratt & Whitney Wasp family and the culmination of its maker’s piston engine technology. The war was over before it could power airplanes into combat. It powered many of the last generation of large piston-engine aircraft before turbojets but was replaced by superior turboprops such as the Allison T56. Our R-4360 came off a Boeing 377 Stratocruiser (pictured above). While the engine was mostly used for bomber and transport aircraft, there are a few air racers that utilized the engine to its maximum performance. “Dreadnought”, a modified T.20 Hawker Sea Fury (pictured above) has won the National Championship Air Races 6 times throughout its career. Sonoma County Airport was also home to another Sea Fury that used this same engine. Race #15 “Furias”, owned by Lloyd Hamilton, was based here for many years. Although it didn’t see the same success as Dreadnought, only managing second place at the National Championship Air Races in 1986, it was still a fan favorite with the old saying, “Nobody ever went faster on less money than Furias”. This engine is owned by the Pacific Coast Air Museum.

Type:  Multi-role shipborne naval helicopter

Crew:  Pilot, airborne tactical officer, and sensor operator

Powerplant:  Two 1,900 hp General Electric T700-GE-401C turboshafts

Dimensions:  Rotor Diameter – 53 ft, 8 in

          Length – 64 ft, 10 in

          Height – 17 ft

Weights:  Empty – 13,648 lbs

    Gross – 21,884 lbs

Performance:  Maximum Speed – 145 mph at 5,000 ft

                               Range – 170 miles w/ one hour loiter

Armament:  Three Mk 46 torpedoes; AGM-114 Hellfire missiles; 

                    AGM-119 Penguin missiles; 

                    Rapid airborne mine clearance system; 

                    M60, M240, GAU-16/A or GAU-17/A guns

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