This was among the largest piston engines ever successfully produced. Design began in early-1936, and the first engine ran in mid-1937. Development and early application was particularly troubled by catastrophic backfires. Used in a number of World War II era aircraft, the major application of the R-3350 was the Boeing B-29.
It continued to give useful service after the war, with one version being the first of its type to have exhaust turbines geared into the power system. The Wright Turbo-Compound Cyclone was the last and the most highly developed piston engine to be widely used in large military and commercial airplanes, and was used in air line service with the Douglas DC-7 and Lockheed Super Constellation.
The Wright Cyclone R-3350-57 was built between January 1944 and November 1945. A total of 6,958 of these engines were built, and powered the Boeing B-29/A/B, XB-29E, RB-29/A, TB-29/A/B, TRB-29A, C-97, YC-97, Lockheed C-121A, VC-121B, and Consolidated Vultee B-32.
Transferred from the U.S. Air Force Central Museum
Date: Circa 1944
Country of Origin: United States of America
Diameter 140 cm (55.12 in.), Length 193.7 cm (76.26 in.)
Type: Reciprocating, 18 cylinders, 2-rows, radial, air cooled
Power rating: 1,641 kW (2,200 hp) at 2,800 rpm
Displacement: 54.9 L (3,350 cu in.)
Bore and Stroke: 156 mm (6.1 in.) x 160 mm (6.3 in.)
Weight: 1,250.6 kg (2,757 lb)