|The 4M-2500 Packard Marine Engine - Display
This wonderful engine was developed to power the World War Two PT Boats. She was not your typical slow-speed, heavy Marine power plant, but a high speed; lightweight; powerful engine that might be characterized as an aviation type engine.
The Packard Marine Engine was a twelve-cylinder, liquid cooled, 4 stroke cycle, gasoline engine. With its built in reverse gear, it constituted a complete marine power plant. Considered light weight for the period, it weighed in at 2,950 pounds. Three of these engines powered a single PT BOAT, producing 4,500 Horse Power. This particular engine is 1500 H.P., and was donated to Frank J. Andruss Sr, and the Mosquito Fleet Exhibit, by Kaman Aerospace in 1998, thanks to Dan Rita. The engine was Navy surplus, purchased by Kaman in 1952. It was used to provide power in testing the Helicopter blades for the Company. When the engine was no longer used, it sat unattended in her original shed for some 43 years, until being donated.
Purchasing this wonderful engine was the easy part, trying to find something for the engine to fit on was another. The cradle used is actually an American Bomb Cart used in the Viet Nam War period. It is a strong platform with four wheels, making it much easier to maneuver the engine into position. Thanks to the wonderful efforts of Mr. Cal Pixley, the engine was redone in 2005, making her look new again. All bolts were replaced, along with hoses and other parts. Each part was sand blasted and painted. This massive power-plant although well over 65 years old, is a wonderful look into our Naval History of World War Two.
Weighing in at 2,950 pounds, the Packard Marine Engine was considered light for its time. It would prove to be a highly dependable engine, sometimes hit in Combat, the engines could be half submerged in water, yet continue to run.