P&W R-1830 Twin Wasp

The Pratt & Whitney R-1830 Twin Wasp engine was one of the most efficient and reliable engines of the 1930s. It was introduced in 1932 with an output of 750 hp—the final version produced 1,350 hp. From 1932 to 1951
a total of 173,618 engines were produced—a greater number than any other aircraft engine ever built.

The Twin Wasp design began in 1931 under the guidance of legendary P & W engineer Luke Hobbs. This twin-row radial incorporated 14 cylinders in two rows of seven, mounted to a forged aluminum crankcase. Liberal amounts of magnesium were used in the design to save weight, and special attention was given to the engine mounts to reduce vibration. For most of the 1930s the R-1830 was the largest U.S. engine under development.

Pratt & Whitney augmented its output of the engine by granting license production to Buick, Chevrolet, Commonwealth Aircraft in Australia and, after World War 2, to Flygmotorbolaget in Sweden.


The engine is still in regular service around the world with fleets of DC-3s and the few remaining Canso flying boats – a tribute to the sound engineering design.


The R-1830 was used on the Bristol Beaufort, Consolidated B-24, Consolidated PBY (Canso/Catalina), Curtiss P-36 Hawk, Douglas DC-3 (C-47), Douglas TBD Devastator, Grumman F4F-4 Wildcat, and the Short Sunderland V flying boat.

The Museum's DC-3 on display is powered by the R-1830.

Technical Details: (R-1830-90C)

Engine Type: 14-cylinder air-cooled radial
Power: 1,200 hp (895 kW) at 2,700 RPM
Weight: 1,467 lb (667 kg)
Cylinders: bore 5.5 in (140 mm), stroke 5.5 in (140 mm)
Displacement: 1,830 cu in (30 litres)