A Closer Look At The R985

A Closer Look At The R985Your aircraft’s engine is the most important part of its construction, and at Covington Aircraft we feel that taking the time to understand just a little more about it is a good idea whether you’re a pilot, a fleet manager, a mechanic, or just an owner of a single plane. There are numerous engines in the industry, but one of the most popular is the R985 from Pratt and Whitney. This radial engine is versatile, delivers good power, and is very reliable.

It’s also considered to be a classic, and the first run of the R985 started back in 1929. The Wasp Junior was designed as a smaller version of the R-1340, and was designed for mid to small sized aircraft. Over the years it has found its way into numerous aircraft including:

• Beechcraft Model 18 and Model 17
• Beaver
• Howard DGA-15P
• Vought OS2U Kingfisher
• Vultee BT-13-Valiant
• And many more

The R985 Wasp Junior is probably one the most popular engines Pratt and Whitney released, and has found its way into civilian as well as military aircraft. More than 39,000 of the engines were built, and decades later many are still in use.

The design uses a nine cylinder radial that is air cooled. The power is derived from a centrifugal supercharger, and the first design delivered about 300 horsepower although later models increased that level and by the time the C-series was released horsepower was increased to 600hp for takeoff and 525 for sustained flight. One of the more desirable things about the engine was that it and the larger R-1340 actually have the same mounting dimension. That means that if desired, aircraft owners could swap from one to the other.

While it was used throughout World War II, today the R985 has been used in agricultural aircraft, bush planes, and small personal aircraft. Many of the modern designs being released today are built on the foundation of the R985, and in many instances an engine with a different name will still be very close in design to this classic.

Whether you need repairs, maintenance, or an overhaul, it’s important to know more about your engine options. The R985 Wasp Junior has certainly earned its place in aviation history, and continue to be used today. If you need assistance with your R985, we can help. Contact Covington Aircraft today to set up your repair or maintenance visit, or learn more about our services.

One thought on “A Closer Look At The R985

  1. I was in the US Navy in the early to mid 1950’s. I was at a facility where we had more than 72 of the Beech SNB-5’s and JRB aircraft. Of course all of these aircraft used the P&W R985 engines. I went on to work with R1830’s; R1820; R2000; R2800; R3350’s and R4360’s. We also serviced the J33 and J42 engines as well as the Westinghouse J34. After leaving the Navy I worked at P&W experimental engine test in East Hartford mostly J52/JT8D; J57; J75.

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