Just shut up and take our money already.
The car world doesn’t generally associate much with radial engines. For that fact, since the development of the jet engine, big radials have primarily remained a relic of World War II technology. That doesn’t mean they aren’t amazing, and this Lego replica of a 28-cylinder radial is pure gold to anyone who loves these massive engines from yesteryear.
This creation comes to us through Lego Ideas, and though the description doesn’t mention it, this mini marvel pays homage to the legendary Pratt & Whitney R-4360 Wasp radial. Entering military service in 1944, it featured four banks of seven-cylinders, assembled in a semi-helical design to help with cooling. Despite the size – the Wasp was eight feet long and weighed nearly 3,900 pounds – it was an air-cooled engine that used both a turbocharger and supercharger to produce over 4,000 horsepower.
The R-4360 was the pinnacle of piston-engine power, seeing widespread use on large aircraft like the Boeing B-29 Superfortress. A crazy variant of the Vought F4U Corsair fighter received the massive mill – think Hemi V8 in a Fiat 500 – but only a few examples were ever completed. With the advent of jet engines, further development of such an insane piston-engined fighter just didn’t make sense.
This Lego project does a phenomenal job of capturing the engineering and functionality of the big radial, right down to the spiral “corncob” arrangement of the cylinder banks. The engine was several months in the making, and according to the project description it involved no small amount of calculations to get everything functioning properly. See-through end caps allow us to see the product of that labor, and it’s certainly mesmerizing to behold.
Lego Ideas gives fans a chance to have their creations become actual Lego sets by gathering public support. With only 251 supporters of the 10,000 required for an official review, this radial has a long way to go. We hope it gets there, however, because we’d be among the first customers to buy one.
Source: Lego Ideas