Revisiting the Napier Diesel Engine
|   Tuesday, October 15, 2013
The modern day four cylindered Otto diesel engine is so popular (at least in the United States) that people have forgotten about its other cousins, which are capable of performing to similar levels. Some of the other capable diesel engines were Hüttlin Spherical Engine, wave disc generator and the Wankel and all of them are capable powerhouses. However, none of these compare to Napier's Deltic diesel in terms of power and torque generation.

We recently came across a blue print of a Napier and with the help of modern computer designing, were able to design a 3D structure of what this engine could look like.
We can clearly see that while its top crankshaft runs anti clockwise its bottom crankshaft has taken up clockwise rotation. Exhaust pistons, linked to this engine feature inlet pistons, which protrude inwards, more than out conventional Otto diesel engine.

On heading deeper into the structural components of this engine, we discovered that things are more fascinating than we could have initially imagined. This three-cylindered engine does not have valves deciding direction of fuel flow. However, six cylinder heads were spotted along with 36 opposable pistons and three crankshafts. Insanity is all we can say about this engine design. This proves that engineers went crazy in Britain post World War era.

This is also the phase when some of the world's most bizarre mechanical creations were made, courtesy the Bristol Brabazon airliner, turbo powered Rovers, Deltic diesel and four wheel grand tour. However, unlike this entire end of the line designs, the Napier was sheer monstrosity. This was a gas guzzling beast with tremendous power generation capability considering one 18 cylindered engine variant.

The huge amounts of power output made this engine a one of a kind powerhouse, which was subsequently sent out of production as it increased chances of accidents on road. This is old school technology and back then, people did not have the resources or skill to design a chassis which could hold together power generation as high as these. However, these engines were perfect for use in high capacity battle tanks, attack ships, locomotives and generators.

Despite high performance from the Deltics', they never found use in locomotives as they were unconventional, more conventional power houses took its place in Britain's locomotive industry. However, there were a handful of these in the real world and we have reasons to believe that a few of them are actually sitting and rotting in some old scrap yard even as we speak.

We would really like to see one of these engines on a chassis and rolling, just like the Merlin's engine, which was recently restored. This proved to be quite unexpected as engineers failed to calculate its exact performance figures before the engine was fired up. These are vintage engines and hence their value today is beyond belief. We really want someone to dig up these old monsters from their resting place and put some life into them once again. It would be a shame to see all the potential go to waste.
PHOTO GALLERY
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