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Military history and past events only. Rants or inflamitory comments will be removed.
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High octane Flame War
youngc
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Western Australia, Australia
Joined: June 05, 2007
KitMaker: 2,166 posts
AeroScale: 105 posts
Posted: Wednesday, May 13, 2009 - 11:05 PM UTC
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1180896/RAF-fighter-planes-used-super-fast-fuel-U-S-win-Battle-Britain.html

Looks like a new claim by the the Americans that their fuel won the Battle of Britain, has sparked another flame war with the Brits.

My thoughts:

First, the validity of whether the Americans actually invented 100-octane fuel. May be another twisted tale, similar to those adapted for Hollywood (see half way down the article for examples).

If the fuel was invented by an American, then I would certainly agree that it contributed toward a British victory. However, the claim that it was the sole cause of victory is absurd.

Enjoy the read, and please feel free to add your opinion.
pigsty
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United Kingdom
Joined: January 16, 2007
KitMaker: 1,226 posts
AeroScale: 640 posts
Posted: Thursday, May 14, 2009 - 01:27 AM UTC
I wouldn't believe the Sermon on the Mount if I read it in the Daily Mail. That rag ought to be sold ready-perforated on a roll.
Cob
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Washington, United States
Joined: May 23, 2002
KitMaker: 275 posts
AeroScale: 15 posts
Posted: Thursday, May 14, 2009 - 03:03 AM UTC
"The Americans" have made no such claim. An American (singular), a Mr. Palucka, wrote the article. Painting with a broad brush and jumping to conclusions is a good way to start a flame war if that's what you're trying to do.

v/r,
Cob
youngc
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Western Australia, Australia
Joined: June 05, 2007
KitMaker: 2,166 posts
AeroScale: 105 posts
Posted: Thursday, May 14, 2009 - 03:20 AM UTC
You are right, it's probably just another comment blown out of proportion by the Daily Mail.

I just found the article quite amusing more than anything, the classic spar between brit and yankie resurfacing once more, regarding trivial matters. Quite similar to how the jealous British (and Australian for that matter) servicemen were constantly at the throats of the Americans for their girl-getting abilities during the war years.

Chas
Cob
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Washington, United States
Joined: May 23, 2002
KitMaker: 275 posts
AeroScale: 15 posts
Posted: Thursday, May 14, 2009 - 03:37 AM UTC

Quoted Text

You are right, it's probably just another comment blown out of proportion by the Daily Mail.

I just found the article quite amusing more than anything, the classic spar between brit and yankie resurfacing once more, regarding trivial matters. Quite similar to how the jealous British (and Australian for that matter) servicemen were constantly at the throats of the Americans for their girl-getting abilities during the war years.

Chas



Agreed. I'm just glad somebody invented the stuff although I'm not even sure it helped during the BoB. My understanding is that simply filling the tank with 100 octane vs. 87 octane fuel would not have improved performance. Changes to the carburators etc. would have to have been made to take advantage of the higher octane fuel.
05Sultan
#037
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California, United States
Joined: December 19, 2004
KitMaker: 2,870 posts
AeroScale: 258 posts
Posted: Thursday, May 14, 2009 - 08:30 AM UTC
100 octane fuel is used in very high compression piston engines,as used in the Schneider racers and high performance fighters. Was there an edge over 87 octane? Sure! Was it THE reason the Brits won BoB? Hell no! It's best advantage was at extreme altitudes coupled with state of the art turbochargers and superchargers-a match made in heaven,pardon the pun. In all fairness,the English chap probably invented it for sure,for racing purposes,and was probably done on a small laboratory scale.
The American side of the story is that we made large scale production feasible through the invention of new catalysts that crack AND reform oil molecules into higher grade fuels. I'm pretty sure there were 110 and 120 octane available by wars end-for the Allies. The Axis powers fuel quality suffered greatly as the war wore on.
I know this as I make these catalysts,and few more surprising ones, for a living.
cheers!
Rick
russamotto
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Utah, United States
Joined: December 14, 2007
KitMaker: 3,389 posts
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Posted: Thursday, May 14, 2009 - 02:47 PM UTC
IIRC, Paluka is a gentler slang word for "crap" or a load of bull. If that is the name of the author, that confirms the credibility of the story.
youngc
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Western Australia, Australia
Joined: June 05, 2007
KitMaker: 2,166 posts
AeroScale: 105 posts
Posted: Thursday, May 14, 2009 - 10:28 PM UTC

Quoted Text

IIRC, Paluka is a gentler slang word for "crap" or a load of bull. If that is the name of the author, that confirms the credibility of the story.


Palooka? Very good, heheh.
youngc
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Western Australia, Australia
Joined: June 05, 2007
KitMaker: 2,166 posts
AeroScale: 105 posts
Posted: Thursday, May 14, 2009 - 10:35 PM UTC
Just read that 100-octane fuel also boosted the performance of many of the pilots' cars...

Quote Simon Shakleford: "...it also made the old Austins and Alvis cars go like stink until the valves burnt out, and the engine became a molten pile of goo. Get caught using that stuff and the pilot would be facing a serious charge or court marshall even."