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1914-18 Engine oils.

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whiskymac View Drop Down
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    Posted: 26 May 2013 at 07:45
Can anyone confirm if aero engines such as the Sunbeam V12s, Mohawk, Maori etc, used straight mono grade oils, or was a mix of mono and castor used?



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NickForder View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickForder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 May 2013 at 11:28
C. Fayette Taylor "One of my first assignments in aviation (as Officer in Charge of the US Navy Power Plant Laboratory in 1917) was to make tests to show that mineral oil could be used in aero engines. Previous to that time, castor oil had been considered as indispensable for aero engines as it was for young children." (The Rotary Engine, Andrew Nahum).


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Paul R Hare View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paul R Hare Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 May 2013 at 17:37
I have checked the RFC and Air Board engine handbook, which cover most types between them and althought they cover how each engine is lubricated, and how much oil eac h used ( a lot!) nothing is said about type; presumably they just used what they were given.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote whiskymac Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 May 2013 at 21:37
Thanks both.   Hmmm.   I suppose castor oil could be used in an in line engine but I believe i'm right in thinking that it is not a particularly easy oil to deal with when it's contained within a sealed system.
Not a problem with rotaries of course - it just gets sprayed all over the place!

I seem to remember something about the early form of Castrol oil being a mix of Castor - hence 'Cas' - and another type of oil.
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Paul R Hare View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paul R Hare Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 May 2013 at 08:31
A couple of random comments;
The organisers of the 1912 Military Aeroplane competition supplied the competitors with only one kind of petrol, but a choice of four different kinds of oil.
C.C. Wakefield started calling all their oil "castrol" to imply that it contained castor, even when it didn't.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickForder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 May 2013 at 11:53
There is a history of what Shell did in the War (the shell which hit the hardest), possibly Castrol produced something similar ?

Banks' 'I Kept No Diary' doesn't mention oil at this point, but Bulman's 'An Account of Partnership' (R-RHT) might.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote whiskymac Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 May 2013 at 13:46
Oil companies telling untruths about their products - surely not!   The fact that there was a choice of four different oils at that early stage of aircraft development is very interesting though.
I've just had another look through Gunston's Aero Engine Encyclopidia in case i'd missed something but the only reference to lubricating oils is one dealing with rotaries.   I wouldn't mind betting that there is something in Gunston's other book, his Development of Aircraft Piston Engines, but that's one I haven't got.

Nick, I take it that R-RHT is Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust?
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Paul R Hare View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paul R Hare Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 May 2013 at 18:20
There is nothing in "the Development of Aircraft Piston Engines".
 
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NickForder View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickForder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 May 2013 at 19:06
Yes, it's Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust. 
Gunston does tend to be a little general in his approach. I'll ask the R-RHT tomorrow
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whiskymac View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote whiskymac Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 May 2013 at 09:07
I'm grateful for the comments from both of you.   Nick, thanks for that, i'll look forward to your findings.
A little book I picked up years ago called Aircraft in War and Commerce, published just after WW1, has a chapter titled 'Engines' but guess what, nothing about lubrication, apart of course form the usual comments about the prodigious wastage of castor oil in rotaries.
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