A Rebuilt A 28 Liter Allison V12 Aircraft Engine – 1,150 BHP


This is a rebuilt WWII-era Allison V-1710 V12 aircraft engine and it’s currently for sale on eBay with a Buy It Now price of $37,500 USD.

The Allison V-1710 was the only liquid-cooled V12 aircraft engine developed by the United States to see service during WWII. It powered a slew of important aircraft including early versions of the P-51 Mustang and the Lockheed P-38 Lightning.

Fast Facts – The Allison V12 V-1710 Aircraft Engine

  • The Allison V-1710 is a 28 liter (1,710.6 cubic inch) V12 aircraft engine that first entered production in the 1930s. It was originally designed as a new 1000 hp engine to be used in a new generation of bombers and fighters.
  • United States Navy had planned to use the Allison in their rigid airships, specifically in the USS Akron and USS Macon, however both were lost to accidents before this could happen.
  • The Allison V-1710 was built in naturally-aspirated, supercharged, and turbo-supercharged forms for various roles. Most were built for use in the Lockheed P-38 Lightning and the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk. In total almost 70,000 examples of the Allison V-1710 were built.
  • The engine you see here is a recently rebuilt Allison V-1710-35, it’s being offered for sale on eBay with a price of $37,500 USD and it’s shipping out of Wichita, Kansas.

The Allison V-1710 V12 Aircraft Engine

The Allison V12 would be one of the great aircraft engines of the Second World War and it would see a long second life after the conflict, both in aviation and in specialist motorsport roles.

Above Video: This is amateur footage of an Allison V-1710 being started up and run at the Classic Jets Fighter Museum at the Parafield Airport in South Australia.

The engine started development back in 1929 as a new engine for a new generation of fighter and bomber aircraft that would be capable of higher speeds, higher altitudes, higher payloads, and longer flight times.

Plans For Rigid Airship Use

The initial plan had been to use the engine in three key aircraft types, streamlined bombers, fighters, and rigid airships – namely the USS Akron and USS Macon.

Ultimately both airships would be lost accidents before the engine was ready, the USS Akron was destroyed in a major storm off the coast of New Jersey in 1933, killing 73 of the 76 onboard.

The USS Macon was destroyed in similar circumstances two years later in 1935 when it was damaged in a storm and lost off California’s Big Sur coast.

USS Akron Rigid Airship

Image DescriptionThe U.S. Navy airship USS Akron flying over the southern end of Manhattan, New York in the United States, circa 1931.

Fixed Wing Use In WWII

The true home of the then-new Allison V-1710 would be in America’s fixed wing aircraft. The Allison was fitted to the early versions of the North American P-51 Mustang, as well as the Lockheed P-38 Lightning, the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk, the North American F-82 Twin Mustang, and the Bell P-39 Airacobra.

In its original naturally-aspirated form the engine proved poorly suited to high altitude work, this is why it was replaced with the Packard V-1650 engine, essentially a British Rolls-Royce Merlin engine built under license in the USA.

Later versions of the Allison V-1710 would largely solve this issue by introducing both supercharging and turbo-supercharging.

The original versions of the V-1710 were capable of 1000 bhp, later forced induction versions made vastly more, as much as 2,900 bhp.

Lockheed P-38 Lightning

Image DescriptionMany Allison V12s were fitted to the twin engine Lockheed P-38 Lightning. This example was called “Putt Putt Maru,” and that’s Colonel Charles H MacDonald and Al Nelson standing in front of it. Image courtesy of the USAF.

Motorsport And Warbird Use

After the war as thousands of military surplus Allison engines flooded onto the civilian market they were quickly put to work in motorsport applications, particularly drag racing, land speed racing, tractor pulling, and unlimited hydroplane racing.

In these fields it wasn’t uncommon to see forced-induction Allisons producing over 3,200 bhp, though the time between rebuilds was typically very short.

Today most of the surviving examples of the V-1710 are fitted to warbirds, inlcuding many vintage aircraft that were originally fitted with different engines like the Russian Yak-3 and Yak-9 fighters, the Ilyushin Il-2, and even a Focke-Wulf Fw 190D.

Allison V12 V1710 Aircraft Engine 7

Image DescriptionAs you can see from the ID plate, this is a V-1710-35 variant, it would have originally been capable of 1,150 bhp.

The Allison V-1710 Shown Here

The engine you see here is listed as a rebuilt with zero time since the rebuild was completed.

This is the V-1710-35 variant, some quick research shows that it should have been producing a little over 1,150 bhp when new, with the potential to make plenty more.

The seller is currently asking for $35,700 USD for the engine and it ships out of Wichita, Kansas in the United States.

If you’d like to read more about the engine or make an offer you can visit the listing here.

Allison V12 V1710 Aircraft Engine
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Allison V12 V1710 Aircraft Engine 2


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