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Mechanical Failures in Aero‐Engines: Some Typical Design and Production Weaknesses Revealed by Wartime Operation

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Article publication date: 1 September 1944



FEW engineering products receive the abuse to which aero engines are subjected in wartime and few mechanical devices are produced in which the margin of safety and failure is so small and yet so vital. Failures on a large scale are, therefore, inevitable and their consideration in detail would present a task of prohibitive magnitude but what little is known with any completeness and certainty can offer some useful data. Consideration of a large number of different makes of engines overhauled during wartime has revealed an amazing complexity of facts; it has shown that failures have developed from almost every conceivable cause which, in turn, have produced every conceivable result. There are few tangible pronouncements which can be made on the subject but nevertheless distinct common tendency has been observed which is sufficiently consistent to be worth consideration. This concerns the general trend of failures and will be referred to later; but with regard to failures in detail, the only safe statement to make is that invariably different parts‐fail on different types of engines subjected to similar conditions of severity in operation. The reason for this is not hard to find, and complexity of design in modern aero engines prohibits the mechanical ideal of simultaneous failure of adjacent parts subjected to a given overload. Not only is the exact functional strength of each individual part hardly known but the loadings which it has to endure cannot be foreseen.


Twelvetrees, W.N. and Walpole, K.W. (1944), "Mechanical Failures in Aero‐Engines: Some Typical Design and Production Weaknesses Revealed by Wartime Operation", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 16 No. 9, pp. 268-274.




Copyright © 1944, MCB UP Limited

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