Collection Item Summary:
This diesel engine was designed and built under the direction of the Packard Company’s Chief Aeronautical Engineer, L. M. Woolson. The objective was to achieve greater safety and economy through the substitution of heavy oil (furnace oil) for gasoline as fuel.
Approved Type Certificate No. 43 was issued by the Department of Commerce on March 3, 1930, and the engine was publicly shown for the first time during the Detroit Aircraft Show in April 1930. Between May 25 through 28, 1931 at Jacksonville, Florida, a world's non-refueled duration flight record of 84 1/2 hours was set. The Model DR-980 won the 1931 Collier Trophy.
The Packard Diesel DR-980 was the first compression ignition, oil-burning engine flown. It powered such aircraft as the: Stinson SM-1DX Detroiter; Packard-Bellanca Pacemaker; Verville Air Coach; Ford 11-AT-1 Trimotor; Goodyear Defender airship; Towle FA-3 Flying boat; Stewart M-2 Monoplane; Waco Taper Wing; and Consolidated XPT-8A aircraft.