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Alfa 1101

Nick Sumner

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Does anyone have any information about this engine? Apparently there is an article in Ali Antiche issues 41 and 42 but my attempts to contact the publishers to order the issues concerned have met with failure so far.
 

Hardrada55

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1941 Wilfredo Ricart (of Alfa Romeo) design for a 28 cylinder aircraft engine. 7 x 4 arrangement. 50.240 cm3 or 3065.75 ci. approximately 2000hp. The 1940 Alfa 1001 was a V-8 of approximately 1100hp.
 

Skybolt

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Ah, it was a bold design, a liquid-cooled radial. It was intended for fuselage-engined heavy fighters, like the still mysterious Alfa-Romeo 1902 (apparently an evolution of the MB-902). After the war the arrangement was used for marine derivatives. I have photos etc, onl have to find them...
Generally speaking, it was one of the "advanced" piston engine intended for production from 1944-45 onwards. Others were: Fiat A-44 (H-type), Reggiane RE103/105 (M-type), Alfa 138 (radial), Piaggio P-? (radial).
 

Nick Sumner

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Hardrada, Skybolt,

Any info you have on any of those engines would be gratefully received - even if not in English.

Thanks!
 

Justo Miranda

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From Caproni MCT (Project Trigona) drawing
 

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Skybolt

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That's the early configuration. I have the built version photos (somewhere)... :'(
 

Skybolt

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Good find. I've found the photos ! Now let me scan them.
 

Skybolt

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Here we are...
It was a really advanced engine, employing direct injection and intercooling (to be applied to the shaded area in the side photo). Strictly speaking, it wasn't a "radial", in the sense that the basic assemblage units weren't the "stars" but the linear cylinder blocks of four, that radially mounted around the principal crankshaft produced the apparently radial configuration. In fact, the basic four-cylinder blocks were used to produce a couple of marine engine, 1001 and 1002 MA, the first a linear four, the second a V-8 at slightly more than 50 degrees (360 divided by 7) . The 1001 MA was probably produced in 1942-45 The V-8 question is murkier. I cannot confirm the "destroyed by partisans" information. What is more certain is that the assembled engines and the tooling were destroyed after the world. Someone says that they are buried in the big artificial hill made of ruins and other scarps that was elevated (and still stands) near the then western Milan urban limits (collinetta di San Siro, for those familiar with Milan topography..).
Sources: "Dall'Elica al Getto. Breve storia dei propulsori aeronautici", by Federico Filippi, Turin, Edizioni EDA, 1983, and "Ali Antiche", various issues.
 

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red admiral

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Excellent pictures, many thanks for these. Do you happen to have found any more specs to go along with them?
 

Skybolt

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The essential data have been already posted. he 2000 HP datum is a "class" indication, the power level aimed at was higher, more in the 2500-3000 HP range. Maybe I have some info on weight (high...). Another info I have is that the compressor was double staged. Only thing I (is) know(n) regarding the tests is that there were severe problems of pre-detonation, that caused excavations on the piston heads. Don't know if this was due to low-octane gasoline or fuel injection timing problem (probably). That fuel injection pump was very complex and is the sole piece of this engine that survives today (it is in the storage area of the Alfa Romeo museum in Arese, near Milan). I have photos of the pump, if someone is interested. In the engine photos it is the flat assembly sitting on top of the engine.
 

Skybolt

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In the sense that they were both liquid-cooled radials. Like some American (notably the Wright R-2160 and the Lycoming XR-7755) engine of the same timeframe. There were no direct influences, though.
 

red admiral

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Dear Skybolt,

Do you happen to have any more details on the other Italian engines you mentioned previously;

Fiat A-44 (H-type), Reggiane RE103/105 (M-type), Alfa 138 (radial), Piaggio P-? (radial).

I'm curious as to what you mean by the M-type for the Reggiane. Inverted W configuration?

Thanks
 

Kevin Renner

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Reminds me of the Wright Tornado with two less banks of cylinders. I wonder if they had a full length crank or were using layshafts and one crank for every two sets of cylinders as in the Tornado?
 

Skybolt

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Red Admiral: yes.
Kevin: I've no the documet on hand, but I swear there was single crankshaft. But I may be wrong. Will tell on July 26th.
 

Nico

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Hi Jemiba and others,
I found some notes extracted from the articles on 'Ali Antiche' 41 and 43, in fact not much more than the description already offered by Skybolt.
The engine was designed in house as the A.1101 but Regia Aeronautica called it A.101 RC.80; in some factory documentes the engine is referred as 1.0.01 MA but it’s unclear if that is the designation of a marine four cylinders derivative (perhaps there was a second marine version, an 8-V called the 1002).
The engine was designed under the leadership of Spanish Wilfred Palagio Ricart, former engineer of Hispano-Suiza, doubling since October 1936 as “adviser for tests and technical matters” for Alfa Romeo. The preliminary project was completed in late 1937.
The first prototype of the engine was built in 1942 and in December of that year there was the first test bench run; total runninng of the engine was 20 hours (seven at the maximum continuous rating of 2,000 CV) but the certification programme was retarded by technical issues and definitively stopped by the September 1943 armistice.
About the Piaggio high performance radial engine, indicated provisionally by Skybolt as Piaggio P-? (radial), I can only suppose it was the P.XXII RC.60 a 18 cyl. double row rated at 1,875 CV for take-off and 1,600 CV at 6,000 m at 2,200 rpm. The P.XXII was an offspring of the P.XII Tornado.
 

Arjen

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Five banks of 4 cylinders, actually. Older than other engines of its type. Nice find.
 

Nico

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Dear All,
researching the AR.1101, the contemporary Reggiane engine and the interesting Caproni MCT fighter (a sort of Italian single-engined Do 335 project) I found an interesting note about our Alfa Romeo engine on the 4th volume of the splendid series 'Gente dell'Aria' (Flight peoples) by Giorgio Evangelisti.
About the work of Eng. Marquis Ercole Trigona della Foresta there is a comparative table of specifications of the MCT fighter with various engine. There is an Alfa 101 RC.80 rated at 1.800 CV (at 8,000 m) and a 'Motore 101 RC.80 maggiorato' (upgraded) rated at 2,100 CV. These performance are consistent with a take-off power of 2,000 CV for the standard version and, perhaps, 2,300 CV for the hotted-up version.
In the event, I think that the actual construction of the prototype of the Tr.1207 (the real project designation of the MCT) foresaw, for availability reason, the use of a FIAT Daimler-Benz DB 605 RC.58 (quoted by eng. Trigona as RC.57.
Nico
 

Skybolt

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The drawing of the Sm-96 II I've found a week ago states that the R 101 (another way of designate this engine) is rated 1750 HP at 8600 meters (which was the compressor second stage operating altitude).
 

Skybolt

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Let me bring an old topics, with new information.
The basic 1101 had a total cylinder volume of 50,000 cubic centimeters. One hundred pre-prototypes, prototypes and pre-production items were built by Alfa. A turbocompound version, slightly enlarged (60,000 cc), was planned and projected at a 2,700 HP rating. A 42-cylinder version was designed, too, probably with 7 6-cylinder banks. I owe this information to Fabio Morlacchi, greatest prewar-Alfa historian (his is the definitive 3-volume tract on the Alfa 6Cs...), who is completing the first complete book covering Alfa Romeo avio engines. I met him at lunch last Friday and he told me that the book will sport a lot of photos of 1101, and a drawing, found in a private archive, of the front and side sections of a reduced dimension version of the engine (a preliminary version for study, or a smaller version intended for production ?). The Fabio's book will be a must-have, take it for assured...
 

Johnbr

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Thanks for the good info.Do you now if one was fly it tested.
 

Skybolt

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Flight tested, no... extensively tested, with and w/o propeller, contrarotating too, yes. Had the Armistice not intervened, it was practically ready for series production. After Sept 8 1943, German occupation authorities were more interested in the Alfa 135 double row radial (1.600 hp). Messerschmitt wanted them for the Gigant.
 

Nick Sumner

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More info on this engine would be welcomed. Please keep us informed as to the publication date of this book.
 

Nick Sumner

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Skybolt said:
Let me bring an old topics, with new information.
The basic 1101 had a total cylinder volume of 50,000 cubic centimeters. One hundred pre-prototypes, prototypes and pre-production items were built by Alfa. A turbocompound version, slightly enlarged (60,000 cc), was planned and projected at a 2,700 HP rating. A 42-cylinder version was designed, too, probably with 7 6-cylinder banks. I owe this information to Fabio Morlacchi, greatest prewar-Alfa historian (his is the definitive 3-volume tract on the Alfa 6Cs...), who is completing the first complete book covering Alfa Romeo avio engines. I met him at lunch last Friday and he told me that the book will sport a lot of photos of 1101, and a drawing, found in a private archive, of the front and side sections of a reduced dimension version of the engine (a preliminary version for study, or a smaller version intended for production ?). The Fabio's book will be a must-have, take it for assured...

Skybolt - any news on a publication date for this book?
 

Johnbr

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Alfa Romeo 1101
 

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msxyz

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There is nothing truly interesting in those pages, sadly. Most pages are a collection of parts of the engine with a serial number, while the last one, the manuscript, actually contains some notes on three phase current in Italian, so I don't know how this pertains to the engine. It seems as if somebody took notes on an entirely different subject re-using some old piece of paper.
 

archipeppe

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I saw it, the last page notes is a problem of electrotechnic.
Probably for aeronautic high school or mechanical engineers (at that times Aeronautical faculty of various Italian universities were part of Mechanical Engineering courses).

Even if I'm Italian I found difficult to read out the handmade note, interesting is the date 6 june 1944.
For the rest is a mere list of mechanical parts for the command gears.
 

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