The effect of supercharger capacity on engine and airplane performance

Schey, O W Gove, W D

This report presents the results of an investigation to determine the effect of different supercharger capacities on the performance of an airplane and its engine . The tests were conducted on a DH4-M2 airplane powered with a Liberty 12 engine. In this investigation four supercharger capacities, obtained by driving a roots type supercharger at 1.615, 1.957, 2.4, and 3 time engine speed, were used to maintain sea-level pressure at the carburetor to altitudes of 7,000, 11,500, 17,000, and 22,000 feet, respectively. The performance of the airplane in climb and in level flight was determined for each of the four supercharger drive ratios and for the unsupercharged condition. The engine power was measured during these tests by means of a calibrated propeller. It was found that very little sacrifice in sea-level performance was experienced with the larger supercharger drive ratios as compared with performance obtained when using the smaller drive ratios. The results indicate that further increase in supercharger capacity over that obtained when using 3:1 drive ratio would give a slight increase in ceiling and in high-altitude performance but would considerably impair the performance for an appreciable distance below the critical altitude. As the supercharger capacity was increased, the height at which sea-level high speeds could be equaled or improved became a larger percentage of the maximum height of operation of the airplane.

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