The First Airplane Diesel Engine: Packard Model DR-980 of 1928

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            In this second number of the Smithsonian Annals of Flight, Robert B. Meyer Jr., curator and head of the flight propulsion division, tells the story of the first oil-burning engine to power an airplane, the Packard diesel engine of 1928, now in the collections of the National Air Museum.

            The author’s narrative, well illustrated with drawings and photographs, provides a historical background for the development of the engine, and a technical description that includes specifications and details of performance. It also contains comments from men and women who flew planes powered by the Packard diesel. The author concludes with an analysis of the engine’s advantages and disadvantages.

            Philip S. Hopkins
 Director, National Air Museum

            30 July 1964

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