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The Tumansky M-87 was a Soviet air-cooled aircraft radial engine that was developed in the late 1930s.

Development[edit | edit source]

In 1934, USSR licensed the French Gnome-Rhone 14K aircraft engine producing 800 hp (595 kW), which entered production as the M-85.[1] The engine was subsequently modified to M-86 which produced 960 hp (715 kW) at takeoff thanks to increased supercharging and a higher compression ratio.[1] The M-87 was created to further increase the power output. Cylinders and pistons were revised to increase the compression ratio and the supercharger was redesigned. The resulting engine had better high-altitude performance and entered production in 1938. However, the engine proved unreliable and suffered from failure of gears in the reduction gearbox.[1] Later the M-88 was designed to address the shortcomings of the M-87. At first the M-88 was not a success, but the designers persisted, and the M-88 was made into a reliable and widely produced engine. The M-87 was used in Ilyushin Il-4 and Sukhoi Su-2 bombers, and the Polikarpov I-180 fighter.

In hindsight the Tumansky family of engines developed from Gnome-Rhône 9K and Gnome-Rhône 14K, were far less successful than the Shvetsov family of engines developed from the Wright R-1820.

Family tree of Tumansky engines

Specifications (M-87)[edit | edit source]

General characteristics

  • Type: Two-row, 14-cylinder, air-cooled supercharged radial engine
  • Bore: 146 mm (5.75 in)
  • Stroke: 165 mm (6.5 in)
  • Displacement: 38.72 L (2,363 in³)
  • Dry weight: 640 kg (1,140 lb)



  • Power output: 950 hp (710 kW) at 2,250 rpm for takeoff and at 4,500 m (14,765 ft)
  • Specific power: 18.4 kW/L (0.4 hp/in³)
  • Compression ratio: 6.1:1
  • Power-to-weight ratio: 1.1 kW/kg (0.8 hp/lb)

See also[edit | edit source]

  • List of aircraft engines

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "DB-3". Airpages.ru. http://www.airpages.ru/cgi-bin/pg.pl?nav=ru20&page=il3. Retrieved 2007-01-08. 

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