Pratt & Whitney Wasp – R-134 Engine


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The first Pratt & Whitney R-1340 Wasp engine was manufactured by Pratt & Whitney America for the U.S. Navy in 1926. The first flight of this historic engine took place that same year. Canadian Pratt and Whitney was formed in 1928 and overhaul work of the Wasp engine was soon a staple for the new company.

The Wasp is a very reliable engine, easy to service and has excellent fuel economy when compared to other engines in its class. Due to these fine qualities, the engine soon became a favorite, powering such aircraft as the Fairchild 71C and the Norseman. Trans Canada Airlines used the Wasp to power their Lockheed L-10’s. The Wasp eventually powered more than 350 different aircraft including the Harvard and Anson Mk V used for training pilots as part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) in World War II.

Contest one North American Harvard.

Production of the R-1340 in Canada was first accomplished using kits from the Pratt & Whitney plant in Hartford, Connecticut. However, production was moved to Canada during World War II in order to free up Pratt & Whitney America for other war related projects.

Pratt & Whitney Canada continued to provide spares and overhaul the engine into the 1950’s. At that time, Pratt & Whitney Canada turned the work over to third-party companies in order to concentrate on the PT-6.

ACAM’s Wasp:

This engine, a 600 HP Pratt & Whitney version of the famous R-1340, was donated to the Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum by the University of New Brunswick through the kind arrangements of Professor Jeremy Richards, P. Eng., Chairman of Forest Engineering.

The University of New Brunswick Dept. of Mechanical Engineering acquired this example from War Assets. Here it was sectioned and used as a demonstration engine in their mechanical laboratory. It was eventually placed on display in the Department of Forest Engineering building until acquired by the Museum in 1993.

ACAM’s cutaway Wasp was restored and had a custom stand manufactured for it by our volunteers. Restoration was completed in late 2007 and the engine was returned to exhibit after a long absence.

A cover has yet to be manufactured and fitted to the engine before visitors will be able to use the crank to turn the engine over. 

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