Pratt and Whitney has been around for almost a century, and have become one of the single most trusted names in the aviation industry. That’s thanks to their long list of excellent engines, and we’re proud to be an authorized Pratt and Whitney MRO facility. But there are plenty of engines in their line, and two that are often talked about in the same breath are the R-985 and the R-1340. This is most likely because they’re both a part of the Wasp series of engines, and while they have several similarities, they do have a few differences.
Of the two, the R-1340 is the older and the larger of the two. The R-1340 features a radial engine design with nine cylinders. It’s one of the most famous engines ever released due to its wide range of power and its flexibility. In fact, engine variations of it range in power from 425HP up to 600HP. It became so popular that it found its way into the Boeing 247.
The R-985 is a radial engine as well, and regularly used in numerous smaller aircraft. You’ll often see them in civilian planes, agricultural planes, and even some utility plans. In most cases, they produce around 450 horsepower. In fact, it shares a huge number of design elements with the R-1340 because this engine was actually designed as a smaller version of the R-1340. When the demand for the 1340 grew, the company realized that a demand for a smaller model existed.
Despite their size differences, both engines were actually created using the same mount size. Because of this, it’s possible to interchange the two if more or less power is needed. While some other size-related factors are present, it’s the size variation between the two that is the overall difference of note.
If you’re currently using an R-985 and want more power, the R-1340 may be an option if one is available. Many of these engines are still in use today, and with the right overhaul they can continue to operate and deliver excellent performance. They may vary in size, but both are dependable, perform well, and have earned their status as legendary engines through years of excellence.