Wright R-1820 Cyclone

The Wright R-1820 Cyclone 9 is an American radial engine developed by Curtiss-Wright, widely used on aircraft in the 1930s through 1950s. It was produced under license in Spain as the Hispano-Suiza 9V or Hispano-Wright 9V, and in the Soviet Union as the Shvetsov M-25.

R-1820 Cyclone
Wright R-1820 G
Curtiss-Wright R-1820 Cyclone Radial Engine
Type Radial engine
National origin United States
Manufacturer Wright Aeronautical
First run 1930s
Major applications B-17 Flying Fortress
Variants Shvetsov M-25
Developed into Wright R-2600
Wright R-3350

Design and development

The R-1820 Cyclone 9 represented a further development of the Wright P-2 engine dating back to 1925. Featuring a greater displacement and a host of improvements, the R-1820 entered production in 1931. The engine remained in production well into the 1950s.

The R-1820 was built under license by Lycoming, Pratt & Whitney Canada, and also, during World War II, by the Studebaker Corporation. The Soviet Union had purchased a license for the design, and the Shvetsov OKB was formed to metricate the American specification powerplant for Soviet government-factory production as the M-25, with the R-1820's general design features used by the Shvetsov design bureau for many of their future radials for the Soviet air forces through the 1940s and onwards. In Spain the R-1820 was license-built as the Hispano-Suiza 9V or Hispano-Wright 9V.[1]

The R-1820 was at the heart of many famous aircraft including early Douglas airliners (the prototype DC-1, the DC-2, the first civil versions of the DC-3, and the limited-production DC-5), every wartime example of the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and Douglas SBD Dauntless bombers, the early versions of the Polikarpov I-16 fighter (as the M-25), and the Piasecki H-21 helicopter.

The R-1820 also found limited use in armoured vehicles. The G-200 variant developed 900 hp (670 kW) at 2,300 rpm and powered the M6 Heavy Tank.

D-200 Diesel

The Wright RD-1820 was converted to a diesel during World War II by Caterpillar Inc. as the D-200 and produced 450 hp (340 kW) at 2,000 rpm in the M4A6 Sherman.


700 hp (520 kW)
575 hp (429 kW)
770 hp (570 kW)
675 hp (503 kW)
690 hp (510 kW)
950 hp (710 kW)
675 hp (503 kW), 750 hp (560 kW), 775 hp (578 kW)
1,000 hp (750 kW)
800 hp (600 kW)
775 hp (578 kW)
940 hp (700 kW), 950 hp (710 kW)
1,200 hp (890 kW)
1,100 hp (820 kW), 1,200 hp (890 kW)
850 hp (630 kW)
800 hp (600 kW), 930 hp (690 kW)
975 hp (727 kW)
850 hp (630 kW)
1,000 hp (750 kW)
930 hp (690 kW), 1,000 hp (750 kW)
1,200 hp (890 kW), 1,350 hp (1,010 kW)
1,060 hp (790 kW)
1,200 hp (890 kW)
1,350 hp (1,010 kW)
1,200 hp (895 kW), 1,350 hp (1,007 kW)
1,200 hp (890 kW), fitted with turbosupercharger
1,350 hp (1,010 kW), 1,425 hp (1,063 kW)
1,500 hp (1,100 kW)
1,425 hp (1,063 kW)
1,200 hp (890 kW)
700 hp (522 kW), 1,100 hp (820 kW)
700 hp (520 kW), 1,535 hp (1,145 kW)
1,525 hp (1,137 kW)
1,425 hp (1,063 kW)
1,200 hp (890 kW), fitted with turbosupercharger
1,425 hp (1,063 kW)
710 hp (530 kW), 720 hp (540 kW)
720 hp (540 kW)
770 hp (570 kW)
790 hp (590 kW)
1,000 hp (750 kW)
840 hp (630 kW)
950 hp (710 kW)
1,100 hp (820 kW)
775 hp (578 kW)
1,100 hp (820 kW)
1,100 hp (820 kW)
1,100 hp (820 kW)
1,200 hp (890 kW)
1,000 hp (750 kW)
1,000 hp (750 kW)
1,200 hp (890 kW)

Notes: Unit numbers ending with W indicate engine variants fitted with water-methanol emergency power boost systems.

Hispano-Suiza 9V

The Hispano-Suiza 9V is a licence-built version of the R-1820.[2]

Hispano-Suiza 9Vr
9V with reduction gear
Hispano-Suiza 9Vb
Hispano-Suiza 9Vbr
variant of the 9Vb with reduction gear[2]
Hispano-Suiza 9Vbrs
variant of the 9Vb with reduction gear and supercharger
Hispano-Suiza 9Vbs
variant of the 9Vb with supercharger[2]
Hispano-Suiza 9Vd
variant of the 9V[2]
Hispano-Suiza 9V-10
429 kW (575 hp) driving fixed-pitch propeller
Hispano-Suiza 9V-11
as -10 but RH rotation
Hispano-Suiza 9V-16
480 kW (650 hp) driving variable-pitch propeller, LH rotation
Hispano-Suiza 9V-17
as -16 but RH rotation



Engines on display

Engine of Douglas DC-3
Wright R-1820 Cyclone 9 engine of restored Douglas DC-3 "Flagship Knoxville" at American Airlines C.R. Smith Museum[3]

Preserved Wright R-1820 engines are on display at the following museums:

Specifications (GR-1820-G2)

Data from Tsygulev[4]

General characteristics

  • Type: Nine-cylinder single-row supercharged air-cooled radial engine
  • Bore: 6 18 in (155.6 mm)
  • Stroke: 6 78 in (174.6 mm)
  • Displacement: 1,823 in³ (29.88 L)
  • Length: 47.76 in (1,213 mm)
  • Diameter: 54.25 in (1,378 mm)
  • Dry weight: 1,184 lb (537 kg)



See also

Related development

Comparable engines

Related lists


  1. ^ Lage(2004) pp. 157-162
  2. ^ a b c d Hartmann, Gustave. Hispano-Suiza, Les moteurs de tous les Records.pdf (in French).
  3. ^ May, Joseph (8 January 2013). "Flagship Knoxville — an American Airlines Douglas DC-3". Hearst Seattle Media. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  4. ^ Tsygulev (1939). Aviacionnye motory voennykh vozdushnykh sil inostrannykh gosudarstv (Авиационные моторы военных воздушных сил иностранных государств) (in Russian). Moscow: Gosudarstvennoe voennoe izdatelstvo Narkomata Oborony Soyuza SSR. Archived from the original on 2009-03-24.


  • Bridgman, L, (ed.) (1998) Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II. Crescent. ISBN 0-517-67964-7.
  • Eden, Paul & Soph Moeng, The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft. Amber Books Ltd. Bradley's Close, 74-77 White Lion Street, London, NI 9PF, 2002, ISBN 0-7607-3432-1.
  • Gunston, Bill. World Encyclopedia of Aero Engines: From the Pioneers to the Present Day. 5th edition, Stroud, UK: Sutton, 2006.ISBN 0-7509-4479-X
  • White, Graham. Allied Aircraft Piston Engines of World War II: History and Development of Frontline Aircraft Piston Engines Produced by Great Britain and the United States During World War II. Warrendale, Pennsylvania: SAE International, 1995. ISBN 1-56091-655-9
  • Lage, Manual (2004). Hispano Suiza in Aeronautics. Warrendale, USA: SAE International. ISBN 0-7680-0997-9.
  • "Aircraft Engines in Armored Vehicles". Archived from the original on 2006-10-07. Retrieved 2006-10-03.
Bellanca Aircruiser

The Bellanca Aircruiser and Airbus were high-wing, single-engine aircraft built by Bellanca Aircraft Corporation of New Castle, Delaware. The aircraft was built as a "workhorse" intended for use as a passenger or cargo aircraft. It was available with wheels, floats or skis. The aircraft was powered by either a Wright Cyclone or Pratt and Whitney Hornet engine. The Airbus and Aircruiser served as both commercial and military transports.

Douglas DC-3

The Douglas DC-3 is a propeller-driven airliner which had a lasting effect on the airline industry in the 1930s/1940s and World War II.

It was developed as a larger, improved 14-bed sleeper version of the Douglas DC-2.

It is a low-wing metal monoplane with a tailwheel landing gear, powered by two 1,200 hp (890 kW) Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp radial piston engines.

It has a cruise speed of 207 mph (333 km/h), capacity of 21 to 32 passengers or 6,000 lbs (2,700 kg) of cargo, a range of 1,500 mi (2,400 km), and could operate from short runways.

Before the war, it pioneered many air travel routes as it could cross the continental US and made worldwide flights possible, carried passengers in greater comfort, was reliable and easy to maintain.

It is considered the first airliner that could profitably carry only passengers.

Following the war, the airliner market was flooded with surplus military transport aircraft, and the DC-3 could not be upgraded by Douglas due to cost.

It was made obsolete on main routes by more advanced types such as the Douglas DC-6 and Lockheed Constellation, but the design proved adaptable and useful.

Civil DC-3 production ended in 1942 at 607 aircraft. Military versions, including the C-47 Skytrain (the Dakota in British RAF service), and Russian- and Japanese-built versions, brought total production to over 16,000.

Many continue to see service in a variety of niche roles: 2,000 DC-3s and military derivatives were estimated to be still flying in 2013.

Douglas YOA-5

The Douglas YOA-5 was an Amphibious aircraft designed for the United States Army Air Corps. Although a prototype was built, it did not enter production.


The ENMASA Beta was a Spanish air-cooled radial engine of the 1950s. A copy of the American Wright R-1820 Cyclone, the Beta was the powerplant of a number of post Spanish Civil War aircraft, including the Spanish version of the Junkers Ju 52 transport, the CASA C-202 Halcón and the Hispano HA-100 trainer.

Fairchild 100

The Fairchild 100 was a single-engined monoplane with high-mounted wings and was the continuation of a series of utility transport aircraft built by Fairchild Aircraft.

Fokker F-14

The Fokker F-14 was an American seven/nine passenger transport aircraft designed by Fokker and built by their Atlantic Aircraft factory in New Jersey.

Grumman F3F

The Grumman F3F was the last American biplane fighter aircraft delivered to the United States Navy (indeed, the last biplane fighter delivered to any American military air arm), and served between the wars. Designed as an improvement on the single-seat F2F, it entered service in 1936. It was retired from front line squadrons at the end of 1941 before it could serve in World War II, and was first replaced by the Brewster F2A Buffalo. The F3F which inherited the Leroy Grumman-designed retractable main landing gear configuration first used on the Grumman FF served as the basis for a biplane design ultimately developed into the much more successful F4F Wildcat.

Lockheed Hudson

The Lockheed Hudson was an American-built light bomber and coastal reconnaissance aircraft built initially for the Royal Air Force shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War and primarily operated by the RAF thereafter. The Hudson was a military conversion of the Lockheed Model 14 Super Electra airliner, and was the first significant aircraft construction contract for the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation—the initial RAF order for 200 Hudsons far surpassed any previous order the company had received. The Hudson served throughout the war, mainly with Coastal Command but also in transport and training roles as well as delivering agents into occupied France. They were also used extensively with the Royal Canadian Air Force's anti-submarine squadrons and by the Royal Australian Air Force.

Lovettsville air disaster

The Lovettsville air disaster occurred on August 31, 1940 near Lovettsville, Virginia. Pennsylvania Central Airlines Trip 19 was a new Douglas DC-3A that was flying through an intense thunderstorm at 6,000 feet (1,800 m). Numerous witnesses reported seeing a large flash of lightning shortly before it nosed over and plunged to earth in an alfalfa field. With limited accident investigation tools at the time, it was at first believed that the most likely cause was the plane flying into windshear, but the Civil Aeronautics Board report concluded that the probable cause was a lightning strike. U.S. Senator Ernest Lundeen from Minnesota was one of the 25 people (21 passengers and 4 crew members) killed."Trip 19", as it was designated, was under the command of Captain Lowell V. Scroggins with First Officer J. Paul Moore. The pilot and copilot had over eleven thousand and six thousand hours experience respectively, although only a few hundred of those hours were on DC-3s. In the jump seat rode a new administrative employee of the airline, hired on August 26.The DC-3A was newly delivered from the Douglas Aircraft on May 25, 1940 equipped with twin Curtiss-Wright R-1820 Cyclone 9 engines (also designated as G-102-A).The CAB investigation of the accident was the first major investigation to be conducted under the Bureau of Air Commerce act of 1938.

Martin 146

The Martin Model 146 was an unsuccessful American bomber design that lost a 1934–1935 bomber design competition to the prototype for the Douglas B-18 Bolo (itself soon supplanted by the B-17 Flying Fortress).

Martin Maryland

The Martin Model 167 was an American-designed light bomber that first flew in 1939. It saw action in World War II with France and the United Kingdom, where they later named it the Maryland.

Naval Aircraft Factory PN

The Naval Aircraft Factory PN was a series of open cockpit American flying boats of the 1920s and 1930s. A development of the Felixstowe F5L flying boat of the First World War, variants of the PN were built for the United States Navy by Douglas, Keystone Aircraft and Martin.

Shvetsov ASh-82

The Shvetsov ASh-82 (M-82) is a Soviet 14-cylinder, two-row, air-cooled radial aircraft engine developed from the Shvetsov M-62. The M-62 was the result of development of the M-25, which was a licensed version of the Wright R-1820 Cyclone.

Shvetsov M-25

The Shvetsov M-25 was an aircraft radial engine produced in the Soviet Union (USSR) in the 1930s and 1940s, a licensed production variant of the Wright R-1820-F3.

Shvetsov M-71

The Shvetsov M-71 was a Soviet radial engine built in small numbers during World War II. It was derived from the Shvetsov M-25, which was a license-built copy of the American Wright R-1820-F3 Cyclone engine.

Wright Aeronautical

Wright Aeronautical (1919–1929) was an American aircraft manufacturer headquartered in New Jersey. It was the successor corporation to Wright-Martin. It built aircraft and was a supplier of aircraft engines to other builders. In 1929 it merged with Curtiss to form Curtiss-Wright.

Wright R-1300 Cyclone 7

The Wright R-1300 Cyclone 7 is an American air-cooled seven-cylinder supercharged radial aircraft engine produced by Curtiss-Wright.

Wright R-2600 Twin Cyclone

The Wright R-2600 Cyclone 14 (also called Twin Cyclone) was an American radial engine developed by Curtiss-Wright and widely used in aircraft in the 1930s and 1940s.

Wright R-3350 Duplex-Cyclone

The Wright R-3350 Duplex-Cyclone is a twin-row, supercharged, air-cooled, radial aircraft engine with 18 cylinders displacing nearly 55 L. Power ranged from 2,200 to over 3,700 hp (1,640 to 2,760 kW), depending on the model. Developed before World War II, the R-3350's design required a long time to mature before finally being used to power the Boeing B-29 Superfortress. After the war, the engine had matured sufficiently to become a major civilian airliner design, notably in its turbo-compound forms, and was used in the Lockheed L-1049 Super Constellation airliners into the 1990s. The engine is now commonly used on Hawker Sea Fury and Grumman F8F Bearcat Unlimited Class Racers at the Reno Air Races. Its main rival was the Pratt & Whitney R-4360 Wasp Major.

Wright inline engines
Lawrance radials
Wright radials
Wright turbojets
Wright turboprops/turboshafts
Wright ramjets
H (four-bank
H-configuration inline)
I (inverted-V inline)
L (single-bank inline)
O (opposed)
R (radial)
V (upright-V inline)
W (three-bank
W-configuration inline)


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