Author Topic: Harry Miller's V-16s ...  (Read 5446 times)

Offline jcf

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Harry Miller's V-16s ...
« on: December 18, 2013, 07:47:37 AM »
Folks with an interest in pre-WWII motorsports are probably aware of designer/builder
Harry Armenius Miller. In the 1920s the engines and cars conceived by Miller, designed
by Leo Goosen and built by Fred Offenhauser (yes, that Offenhauser) dominated Indy
and tracks (dirt, gravel, wood and tarmac) all across the US. They even went to Europe
where Bugatti was so impressed he copied the Miller engine. Miller engines also saw
extensive marine use, the engine design that became the famous Offy actually started out
as boat engine. Miller marine engines  were used by Gar Wood amongst other famous names
of the period.
Miller also dabbled in aircraft engines and design, the most (in)famous project being
the Tucker XP-57. Harry designed the engine for the fast-talking Preston Tucker, their
relationship went back to the early thirties and while being involved with Tucker never
did Harry any favours he considered him a friend and stuck by him, much to the detriment
of his own reputation.

But, before the XP-57 Harry designed a series of V-16s, they were all variations on the same
twin-cam theme and offered in upright and inverted versions. The base design goes back to
at least  1934 for an engine intended to power a new racer designed by Keith Rider. It wasn't
built and Rider's aircraft emerged power by a big radial. The basic design reappeared several
times and in 1940-41 Tucker was offering them to the Army and Navy with exhorbitant promises,
they had no production facilities but Tucker insisted that if given the money he could be cranking
them out in months. The Army and Navy correspondence concerning inspection of facilities
and reality of the proposals makes interesting reading.
A web search will find lots of results concerning Harry and the two best books are Mark Dees'
massive tome The Miller Dynasty and Grif Borgeson's Miller. Gordon Eliot White's
paperback The Marvelous Mechanical Designs of Harry A. Miller from Iconografix is an
excellent illustrated intro. The two engine drawings are from the White book, the Rider-Miller
3-view from Dees' The Miller Dynasty.




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« Last Edit: April 08, 2019, 04:55:29 AM by jcf »
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Offline kitnut617

  • Measures the actual aircraft before modelling it...we have the photographic evidence.
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Re: Harry Miller's V-16s ...
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2013, 11:14:38 PM »
Jon,  is there something inherently stable with a V-16 arrangement, I've read that V-8's, straight 6's, horizontally opposed 4's & 6's had naturally balanced properties.

Offline jcf

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Re: Harry Miller's V-16s ...
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2013, 02:03:43 AM »
In 45° and 135° V-16s the firing impulses are naturally balanced.
Also true of some V-8s, but 90° V-8s need counterbalancing.
Straight 6s and 8s are both firing balanced, but, the 8s can have
problems due to crankshaft length.
Opposed engines, or more accurately flat or 180° V engines as an
opposed engine is a different animal, the firing impulses tend to
cancel each other.

Interestingly Miller designed and built a flat-8 aircraft engine in 1927-28
that prefigured the similar Continentals and Lycomings, that came to
dominate the 'small' aircraft piston engine field, by over a decade.
Evidently it worked well but for some reason he was personally dis-satisfied,
returned the customer's money and buried the project. It's one of the many
mysteries around the man.
“Conspiracy theory’s got to be simple.
Sense doesn’t come into it. People are
more scared of how complicated shit
actually is than they ever are about
whatever’s supposed to be behind the
conspiracy.”
-The Peripheral, William Gibson 2014

Offline Daryl J.

  • Assures us he rarely uses model glue in dentistry
Re: Harry Miller's V-16s ...
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2014, 06:58:11 AM »
Is this the same Miller that would get so enthused about his next project he had difficulty finishing the project at hand much to the chagrin of his coworkers?   
kwyxdxLg5T

Offline jcf

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“Conspiracy theory’s got to be simple.
Sense doesn’t come into it. People are
more scared of how complicated shit
actually is than they ever are about
whatever’s supposed to be behind the
conspiracy.”
-The Peripheral, William Gibson 2014

Offline PR19_Kit

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Re: Harry Miller's V-16s ...
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2014, 02:54:17 PM »
In a 90 degree V8 the secondary out of balance forces are wholly horizontal, the vertical components being balanced out. That's why big engined V8 cars rock from side to side at idle, if they're big enough of course.  ;)
Regards
Kit

--------------------------
Any aircraft can be improved by fitting longer wings

Offline mrvr6

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Re: Harry Miller's V-16s ...
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2014, 07:53:22 PM »
In a 90 degree V8 the secondary out of balance forces are wholly horizontal, the vertical components being balanced out. That's why big engined V8 cars rock from side to side at idle, if they're big enough of course.  ;)

i thought that was the torque? or do you mean when its sat at idle?

Offline PR19_Kit

  • Likes to brag about how long his...wings are.
  • Made it at last!
Re: Harry Miller's V-16s ...
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2014, 01:24:31 AM »
If you blip the throttle on ANY engine its torque will twist the car along its length, as long as its a fore and aft mounted engine of course. V8s tend to rock the car more as they are bigger engines.

On a V8 the secondary OOB forces are wholly horizontal at any engine speed and if you look down on a V8 at idle you can just about see it shunting sideways. At higher engine speeds you can't see it as the secondaries are at half engine speed, plus in more modern V8s they use special fluid damped engine mounts that mimimise the NVH issue.
Regards
Kit

--------------------------
Any aircraft can be improved by fitting longer wings

Offline mrvr6

  • Accidentally created a Tejas….
Re: Harry Miller's V-16s ...
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2014, 02:01:29 AM »
If you blip the throttle on ANY engine its torque will twist the car along its length, as long as its a fore and aft mounted engine of course. V8s tend to rock the car more as they are bigger engines.

On a V8 the secondary OOB forces are wholly horizontal at any engine speed and if you look down on a V8 at idle you can just about see it shunting sideways. At higher engine speeds you can't see it as the secondaries are at half engine speed, plus in more modern V8s they use special fluid damped engine mounts that mimimise the NVH issue.

dont notice it much over here because most engines are
a transverse mount
b poxy little 2l 4 pots with bugger all torque in the 1st place

my car had a unique engine becuase it was a transverse v6 but very compact with only a single cylinder head

Offline kitnut617

  • Measures the actual aircraft before modelling it...we have the photographic evidence.
  • I'd rather be dirtbike riding
Re: Harry Miller's V-16s ...
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2014, 03:21:53 AM »
My son's Mazda MX3 has a 1.8 transverse V-6 ---- which he has managed to blow the crank seals out off ---  :-X

Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: Harry Miller's V-16s ...
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2014, 09:46:29 AM »
I missed this thread the first time around  :(  That 1934 Rider-Miller racer just has to be turned into a fighter  :)
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