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Author Topic: Soviet fuel  (Read 3326 times)
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« on: September 22, 2009, 02:07:54 PM »

Hi,

I wonder what kind of fuel did the Russians operate their lend-lease aircraft on? In particular, was 100-octane fuel available for the Merlins of the Hurricanes and Spitfires, or would the engiunes modified (or perhaps not:) to 80-something grade fuel?

It is rather known that the Russians weren't quite impressed by both fighters and I wonder if there could be a facual reason for this, a case of NIH or perhaps the aircraft really were unsuited for the task (as arguably was the case with the Spitfires at Kuban)

/Martin
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ta152h
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« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2009, 09:27:52 PM »

If I'm correct, there was no problem with the fuel, supplies were available. The problem may simply have been with the airframes and their age.
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« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2009, 10:26:47 PM »

If I'm correct, there was no problem with the fuel, supplies were available. The problem may simply have been with the airframes and their age.
That may be true, but did the Russians use 100-octane at all? Would they go to the logistics trouble of using different fuel on British/American a/c than their own? And if not, what was(were) the standard fuel(s) used?
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Antoni
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« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2009, 09:39:52 PM »

The Germans had fuel equivalent to 100 octane but used a different rating system that gave it a lower octane number the result of which is the widespread, but mistaken, belief that they lacked 100 octane fuel. So before asking if the Soviets had 100 octane fuels you have to find out if you are comparing like with like. Also, even if the fuel has the same rating there other factors that may affect its suitability such as additives, chemical composition, contaminants etc. So engines may still need adjustments to run on it or require things like different spark plugs. Still there may be problems like decreased engine life.

Soviet 4B-78 gasoline was rich in aromatic hydrocarbons (e.g. benzene). When the soviets received B-25s this fuel dissolved the interior rubber layers of the fuel tanks quickly destroying them. By order of the Air Force Chief Engineer B-25 units were to use foreign B-100 fuel. Most of this was delivered from the USA in cans which made refuelling a laborious process but it stopped the fuel tank corrosion. A characteristic of aromatic hydrocarbons is that they burn with a sooty flame. Possibly this was the cause of the excessive exhaust staining that can be seen.
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Editor
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« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2009, 02:01:02 PM »

By order of the Air Force Chief Engineer B-25 units were to use foreign B-100 fuel. Most of this was delivered from the USA in cans which made refuelling a laborious process but it stopped the fuel tank corrosion.

Excellent, so this answers part of my question = American 100-octane fuel was available in Russia (even if perhaps not a preferred option) and included in the Soviet supply logistics.

I just thought the question to be intriguing. 100-octane production process bwas developed only in the 1930s, so I wasn't sure if Soviet Union had a comparable fuel during the war.
 
"Lend-lease aircraft amounted to 18% of all aircraft in the Soviet air forces, 20% of all bombers, and 16-23% of all fighters"
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Antoni
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« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2009, 11:50:46 AM »

You will find this of interest.

http://www.broquet.co.uk/history.htm
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