When compared to some of the unique piston aircraft engines out there, the Wright R-3350 was a tried-and-true performer in the history of flight. This big radial engine was very important during and after World War II. It was used in many military and passenger planes, like the Boeing B-29 Superfortress and the Douglas DC-7. It had a great track record of service until the 1950s, when gas engines started to take its place.
The engine had a capacity of 3,347 cubic inches, two rows of nine powerful cylinders each, and could produce up to 3,700 horsepower. It was cooled by air. The best R-3350 types were the TC turbo-compound ones, which were unique because they had three power recovery turbines (PRTs) with fluid couplings. In contrast to most turbochargers, these turbines used the energy in the exhaust gas to turn the engine. When PRTs were added to the engine, they added over 500 horsepower to its overall output.
The carefully restored R-3350 shown in this article was one of four engines that powered a Lockheed Super Constellation airliner. It is a testament to the hard work of aviation expert Patrick Smart. A huge amount of time, effort, and love went into the restoration. The video shows different parts of the Duplex-Cyclone in great detail, including the huge double-row crankcase and the elaborately cast cooling fins on the cylinder jugs. The most interesting thing is that people can see and hear the engine in motion.
Aviators and people who are just interested can watch this interesting video and enjoy the R-3350 as a mechanical marvel, seeing its intricate details and hearing the thunderous symphony of its operation. The restoration, which was done out of love, brings back to life not only a piece of history but also a live example of how clever aviation engineers can be. Watch the video below to get a real feel for this amazing piece of aviation art.