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Radial Engines - "Oh, how I love 'em!"

John F

New member
I remember as a child, out playing in the yard burning leaves with a magnifying glass, and suddenly realize I hear the distant rumble of radial engines overhead. I stopped dead in my tracks and turn heavenward to spot the plane. I miss those thundering radials, pounding out horsepower. Ya, they were cantankerous, oil-dripping messy, sputter to life spewing clouds (and I mean clouds) of smoke and flame, machines. To me, the staccato exhaust chatter is as exhilarating as any Sousa march, especially multi-engine. The pleasure was ALL mine as I witnessed Kansas City based, Airline History Museum's TWA Constellation, Thirty-Seven Charlie, take-off from Joplin, Missouri. The Connie came abreast of me, yet to rotate, exhaust flames flashing. The engines were humming, yes humming a very deep, visceral hum. How wondrous a sight as she rotated and ascended the skies, trailing smoke, exhaust flames and chatter! Today it's a rare experience indeed, and I'm sad it's becoming nearly extinct.


New member
Well, shoot! Just come to the Reno Air Races in September and you'll be able to see and hear plenty of them! You can even watch them battle it out around the pylons at 500mph, give or take. There is nothing like it!


I'm lucky enough to get to fly a B-25. The sound and feeling of sitting between two big radials is incredible! Of course it's also loud enough to turn what little brain I have left into jello!

The Thunder over Michigan airshow is coming up August 7 & 8 in Ypsilanti, MI. They are aiming for "the World's Largest Gathering of Mitchell B-25 Bombers" both days. We are flying ours there from California. It'll be an adventure. If any of you make it out to the show, stop by and say hello!