Subject: Packard (Rolls-Royce) V1650 Merlin
Location: Dreams of Flight Museum, Orlando, Florida, USA, 2013
Comments: The Packard V-1650 was a version of the Rolls-Royce Merlin aircraft engine, produced under licence in the United States by the Packard Motor Car Company. The engine was licensed in order to provide a 1,500 hp (1,100 kW; 1,500 PS)-class design at a time when U.S. engines of this rating were not considered ready for use even after years of development.
The first V-1650s, with a simple one-stage supercharger, were used in the P-40F Kittyhawk fighter. Later versions included a much more advanced two-stage supercharger for greatly improved performance at high altitudes. It found its most famous application in the North American P-51 Mustang fighter, where it vastly improved that aircraft's performance at altitude, transforming the Mustang into an outstanding fighter with the range and performance to escort heavy bombers over the European continent. By 1944, P-51B, P-51C and P-51D "Merlin" Mustangs were able to escort Allied heavy bombers in daylight all the way to Berlin and yet were still capable of combating German fighters attempting to intercept the bombers. By late 1944, the Allies had won air supremacy over the whole of Germany, and Germany's defeat in World War II began to appear inevitable.