Wright J5 "Whirlwind" 9−Cylinder Radial Engine
Annual 1960 Air Trails Hobbies for Young Men

Annual Edition 1960 Air Trails
Annual Edition 1960 Air Trails Cover - Airplanes and RocketsTable of Contents

These pages from vintage modeling magazines like Flying Aces, Air Trails, American Modeler, American Aircraft Modeler, Young Men, Flying Models, Model Airplane News, R/C Modeler, captured the era. All copyrights acknowledged.

For a few months, Air Trails magazine ran a series of scale line drawings called "Aircraft Engine Scrapbook" which were meant to be cut out and put in a 3-ring binder. They were one-page information sheets on various powerplants of the day containing dimensions, mechanical specifications (displacement, horsepower, compression ration, rotations per minute, etc.), and a brief note on the engine's production and usage history. This drawing for the 9−cylinder Wright J5 "Whirlwind" radial engine must be the first of the series because it is numbered as "−1." Interestingly, the Fokker company is included in the list of "American" aircraft manufacturers who used the J5. I thought Fokker was primarily a Germany / Netherlands company, but according to the Wikipedia entry Anthony Fokker established a presence in the United States in 1927, and eventually merged with General Motors and then North American Aviation. It is ironic that the builder of the P−51 Mustang and the B−25 Mitchell bomber had it roots in the same company that built the Red Baron's Dr.1 triplane.

Wright J5 "Whirlwind"

Wright J5 "Whirlwind" 9-Cylinder Radial Engine, Annual 1960 Air Trails - Airplanes and RocketsSpecial Section for the Scale Model Builder by Jim Triggs

Note - The J5 "Whirlwind" achieved wide fame and acceptance in 1927 as the power plant of Lindbergh's "Spirit of St. Louis". By 1928, these notable American manufacturers were using the J5 extensively: Waco, Fokker, Boeing, Buhl, Lockheed, Ryan, Pitcairn, Sikorsky, Stearman, Travel Air, and Chance Vought.

J. M. Triggs



Posted October 8, 2022