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Where were Packard Merlins built ??


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#1 Martin Bull

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Posted 25 May 2003 - 11:21 AM

And please don't say 'Detroit' ! tongue.gif

I know it's trivial, but I've been looking in books and the internet, and just can't find out exactly where was the factory building Packard Merlins ?

It may be my imagination, but it seems almost as if books about Rolls-Royce are proud of the Merlin being British-designed, but a bit 'sniffy' that the Americans had to build so many of them, whereas American sources are proud that Packard built so many, but a bit 'sniffy' that the Brits designed it ! The result is that there really isn't a great deal of information available about the Packard connection.... :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
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#2 KmPok

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Posted 25 May 2003 - 11:37 AM

This is all I've come up wirth so far Martin

The first two Packard built Merlin’s were demonstrated at a special ceremony at the Packard factory in Detroit on August the 2nd 1941 and full production began in 1942. By the end of World War II(WWII) more than 16,000 had been produced in the USA.

During the last 3 years of WWII the Royal Air Force(RAF) used Packard built Merlin’s in Spitfires, Mosquitoes and Lancaster’s
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#3 urqh

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Posted 25 May 2003 - 12:07 PM

Martin I have a copy of Britians wonderful airforce...written during the war but no clue at the year, guessing must be about sometime.

Pics and ideas are truly amazing with whole pages on the fantastic Boutlton Paul Defiant and Fairey Battle..whoops...

H

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#4 Martin Bull

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Posted 25 May 2003 - 12:13 PM

Thanks for the replies ,guys - now, any of our US friends know where that factory was ? :confused:
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#5 urqh

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Posted 25 May 2003 - 12:24 PM

Martin I have a copy of Britians wonderful airforce...written during the war but no clue at the year, guessing must be about early 41.

Pics and ideas are truly amazing with whole pages on the fantastic Boutlton Paul Defiant and Fairey Battle..whoops...

Sorry will start again, post went before I was ready..

Has this to say on American help for RAF chapter.
With line on Merlin. Looks like we both learned and benefitted from having USA do the oily work.

Infuence on US design..

The usa had been handing out largesse to the British, it should have been easier to go full speed ahead with the types which were already in production. Up to a point the we British had to accept the methods because of the urgency of their need, but the important point was that we were paying for what we got and were therefore in a positon to require modificcations here, more armour there, and guns in different positions. Furthermore, within the limits set by considerations of early delivery, Britain could pick this type and that type and reject that type. The result was that she began to direct Amerian development along particular lines and stimulated the production of certain types.
The independence that Britain gained in those early months was well worth the huge sums we undertook to pay the American manufacturers, since it meant that our specifications were accepted and our views on the types of arroplane best suited to modern warfare became established.
A trend was established by the British requirements in the early days that influenced American fashions. As an example of this one need only recall that arrangements were made for the Rolls Royce Merlin engine to be built in the USA Already a water cooled engine, the Allison, had been produced there and so a nation which had previously relied on air cooled engines began to think in terms of the slimmer lines and higher speeds which the small frontal area of the liquid cooled engine permits. Even before the war started, we British had been buying Hudsons for reconnaissance work and Harvards for advanced training. The Hudson was the ccommercial aeroplane known as the Lockheed Fourteen so modified that a rotating gun turret could be fitted on the upper part of the fuselage just forwared of the tail. The North American Harvard was a fast, single engined trainer.

Goes on to state how Frances orders helped to change the USA thinking on design and develoment also...

Pinch of salt stuff I suppose as was written in war.

If you dont have a copy of this, and the amazing pics it has...Brought it with a volume of ww2 written the war in pictures...and Britains wonderful armed forces...then you would love this one..

In fact Im not much into the old air stuff..Just like old books..

If you have a good home for it, you can have it.

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#6 KmPok

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Posted 25 May 2003 - 12:28 PM

I have found this address for the Packard Museum. They may be able to help you Martin.

420 S. Ludlow St.
Dayton, Ohio 45402

Office 937.226-1710
Fax 937.224.1918

PackardMusuem@woh.rr.com
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#7 urqh

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Posted 25 May 2003 - 12:49 PM

Youve had it Martin, must still be an official secret in States...Cant find a flipping thing on it..

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#8 Martin Bull

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Posted 25 May 2003 - 03:28 PM

HeHe - I should've made this one a 'Quiz' question. I have absolutely ransacked the internet and it just don't say !

But I came across (inevitably !) a Brit website run by dedicated Merlin enthusiasts : -

http://members.lycos.co.uk/pwgrieve/

- which takes awhile to load. They've even got a Forum ( with about four entries and five answers - not exactly the WWII Forums but, what the heck ? ) so I've posted The Question.

But don't give up, guys - I'm amazed at how difficult it is to find out where the trifling number of fifty-five thousand aero engines were built ! :(
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#9 urqh

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Posted 25 May 2003 - 03:51 PM

Now this better not be a trick question, cos I found this morning lots were made in Canada under licence...you wouldnt be pulling a fast one here Martin?

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#10 Martin Bull

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Posted 25 May 2003 - 04:04 PM

I dunno - I'm getting more confused by the minute :confused: : -

http://imageevent.co...epackardfactory

Was this cars, or cars and aero engines - and it still doesn't bl**dy well say where it is :mad: !!
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#11 Martin Bull

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Posted 25 May 2003 - 04:12 PM

Here's a little soothing music while I wait for the answer : -

http://www.bcam.net/engines/merlin.htm

- click on the P-51 drawing and turn your speakers up ..... smile.gif :cool:
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#12 Martin Bull

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Posted 26 May 2003 - 08:57 AM

The search continues - many thanks for the tip, KmPok; I've sent an email to the Packard Museum.

Incidentally, sources seem to agree that a total of 55,523 Packard Merlins were built, the last one rolling off the production line ( wherever that was.... :rolleyes: ) on September 20th, 1945.

Urqh - I'm quite sure that none were built in Canada. I think there's a little confusion there with Canadian-built Lancasters and Mosquitoes which all used Packard-built Merlins, shipped up, I assume, from Detroit....
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#13 urqh

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Posted 26 May 2003 - 09:14 AM

Yep you must be right Martin, I wont argue with you on Lancasters or bomber command thank you very much...

My confusion arose from reading this. But the engines were most likely shipped up not manufactured in Canada..

Major variants: Mk 1 : Rolls-Royce Merlin engines. Mk 2 : Bristol Hercules radial engines (300 aircraft only). Mk 3 : Packard-built Merlin engines. Mk 10 : built under licence by Victory Aircraft of Canada. with Packard-Merlins. Total : 7,377 of which 3,431 were lost on operations.

http://www.elsham.pw...r.co.uk/raf_bc/

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#14 TA152

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 05:23 AM

I can't help you on where the engines were built at. My guess would be it was contracted out to many different plants.

I have read someplace years ago that the Packard Merlin was inferior to the RR Merlin in quality.

I think the last Packard auto was built in 1957.

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#15 wilconqr

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 03:35 PM

This has probably been discussed somewhere before;however, can anyone tell me of any difficulties that Spitfire's had due to carbarated engines in dealing with their fuel injected 109 advesaries over Britian?

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#16 KmPok

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 04:51 PM

I got the stats straight from this site, Martin. I didn't check its accuracy. Silly me. LOL

http://www.btinterne...erlinEngine.htm

Maybe he means this specific type.

You must let us know if you find anything out from the Packard Factory

[ 27. May 2003, 11:54 AM: Message edited by: KmPok ]
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#17 Martin Bull

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Posted 11 June 2003 - 01:03 PM

Back from holiday, checked all my emails : -

- and it seems that no-one can answer this question ! Sent an email to the Packard Museum - no reply. Posted a question on the 'Rolls-Royce Merlin Forum' - no answers.

I shan't give up - but you must admit, it's pretty weird ! :confused:
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#18 Kai-Petri

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Posted 11 June 2003 - 05:11 PM

Packard Packard Motor Car Co, Detroit MI?

V-1650 1943 - Licensed production of Merlin.

http://www.aerofiles.com/motors.html

And maybe this opens some new lines for you, Martin?

Graves, William H. (Packard) William H. Graves was born on April 30, 1898. A skillful engineer he was involved in many of the changes and improvements that set Packard cars apart. In 1934, for example, he leads the way for Packard's conversion from poured babbitt bearings to new copper-lead, steel-backed insert bearings. His great strength is an understanding of metals, and he is a skilled metallurgist. In June, 1940, Packard is asked to mass-produce the Rolls Royce Merlin aircraft engine. It will be a difficult project lead by Jesse Vincent. Graves, a key figure in the project, will develop the foundry specifications for the Packard-made version, and they will produce an engine superior, even, to the Rolls Royce version.

http://mark.mather.c.../people_A_L.htm

1945 - September 20 - The last Merlin airplane engine is completed. Total produced - 55,523.

http://www.gsdi.org:...-hist-1945.html

[ 11. June 2003, 12:43 PM: Message edited by: Kai-Petri ]
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#19 Martin Bull

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Posted 11 June 2003 - 05:51 PM

Thanks for the links, Kai - some new stuff to read through but they still don't say exactly where the factory was !!

'Packard, Detroit' is rather generic - I'm fairly sure that the engines didn't come from the car factory.....but can't find any confirmation ? :confused:

Never mind - the search continues ! ;)
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#20 Kai-Petri

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Posted 11 June 2003 - 06:17 PM

Here´s some places in the US- maybe helping at least the factories where the engines were not built...

Selected Government Funded WWII Industries:
Michigan
etc


http://www.heritageresearch.com/M.htm
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#21 Martin Bull

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Posted 11 June 2003 - 06:26 PM

There's one I hadn't found - and Packard had five factories in Detroit, one of which produced aero engines.

Now - where was it ? The search narrows..... ;)
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#22 Kai-Petri

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Posted 11 June 2003 - 07:10 PM

Wonder if Packard Packard could help...??

http://www.packardmo...com/contact.htm
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#23 Martin Bull

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 06:45 AM

In the grand old tradition of answering my own questions years after posting them, I can now say that :-

PACKARD MERLINS WERE BUILT AT WILLOW RUN !


And the old factory burned down some years ago.....

Old Packard plant burns again in Detroit. Considered largest abandoned industrial site in the nation. | STATter911.com

:)

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#24 brndirt1

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 04:31 PM

In the grand old tradition of answering my own questions years after posting them, I can now say that :-

PACKARD MERLINS WERE BUILT AT WILLOW RUN !


And the old factory burned down some years ago.....

Old Packard plant burns again in Detroit. Considered largest abandoned industrial site in the nation. | STATter911.com

:)


I am sure that isn't the Ford built Willow Run plant in the article. The Willow Run plant was between Ypsilanti and Detroit I think, not in Detroit proper. Just from memory, so I could be wrong here Martin B. The Merlin/Packard V-12s were all the license built R-R licensed/produced during the war by Packard was in the same plant where they (Packard) had built WW1 Liberty engines on East Grand Boulevard in Detroit Michigan. Not the Ypsilanti plants built by either Ford or GM. Yes even GM had a plant there, but not Packard.

Edited by brndirt1, 05 May 2012 - 04:40 PM.

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#25 Biak

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 08:24 PM

This may help.
Warbirds and Airshows- WWII Manufacturing Site Photos

Packard Auto Company in Detroit, MI. - Manufacturing location of 54,714 Rolls-Royce Packard V-1650 Merlin Engines. The plant is located at the corner of East Grand Boulevard and Concord Street. The plant is on both north and south side of East Grand Boulevard and west Concord. Unfortunately the facility is very dilapidated and is in a neighborhood similar to those seen in the movie Gran Torino. Packard went bankrupt in 1954. Apparently no one has the funding to raze the buildings. It looks like various businesses and enterprises have utilized the structure since Packard went out of business. There do not appear to be any using it now. From an architectural and historic perspective, this is an important structure as it was designed by Albert Kahn, a prominent industrial architect that designed many factories, including several of the WWII aircraft plants, until his death in 1942. This plant was built in 1907 and the design by Kahn introduced the concept of replacing wood walls with reinforced concrete that allowed more open space for manufacturing. Many of his designs were used in Detroit and he is known as the "Architect of Detroit". After designing this plant some of his other work in Detroit included the Ford Highland Park Auto Assembly Plant, the massive Ford River Rouge Complex, the Warren Tank Arsenal, and the Ford (Now GM) Willow Run B-24 Plant.

Warbirds and Airshows- WWII US Aircraft Engine Manufacturing Sites

Most sources available are claiming that Packard built over 16,000 Rolls-Royce Merlin engines during WWII, which is true but grossly misleading. The expression "over 16,000" implies that the number built is between 16,000 and 17,000. This totally under states by over three times the contribution to the war effort by Packard, which produced 54,714 engines, as referenced from: United States Army in World War II - Special Studies - Buying Aircraft: Material Procurement for the Army Air Forces by Irving Brinton Holley, Jr. This was last published by The Center of Military History, United States Army, Washington, D.C. in 1989 and is the source for not only engines but aircraft produced for the US Army during WWII.


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