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Posted (edited)

Fascinating. I thought that the Wirraway was an Australian design. I wonder if the Spitfire and Hurricane were too complex to build under licence? Edit: that was the Boomerang, 1942-45. 

Edited by APenNameAndThatA

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My understanding was that the only engines Australia could get were Pratt and Whitney radials. Not very powerful and very bulky, so the Boomerang was a fat fuselage plane. If any of them downed a Japanese plane, it would have been by luck.

It was this lack of engines which caused the establishment, after the war, of car manufacture in Australia. The other countries had their Daimler, Packard, Rolls-Royce, Mitsubishi  etc engines but we had nothing.

Well now we are back to nothing, except maybe Jabiru.

Australia did get to make some Mosquito aircraft, this is a sad tale.


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Posted (edited)

There were several companies formed in the late 1930's to manufacture an Australian-designed-and-built car - and none of them involved GMH.

Unfortunately, the commencement of WW2 cruelled all their plans, and they were all shelved.


It was only the constant drive by Laurence Hartnett, as the British-born, Australian manager of GMH, that saw the 48-215 Holden come to fruition. The bosses in GM didn't want Australia to build their own car.


Pratt & Whitney were one of the very few U.S. aircraft engine builders, who were happy to issue the CAC with a licence to build their engines - in Oct 1937.


https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/169602964?searchTerm=Pratt %26 Whitney&searchLimits=l-decade=193


https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/135927543?searchTerm=Pratt %26 Whitney&searchLimits=l-decade=193


Unfortunately, P&W also issued licences to build their engines, to Germany - along with licences-to-build, from numerous other American corporations.

Few people know that all the Nazi oil and fuel from the mid-1930's, was supplied by Standard Oil refineries, built on 730,000 acres of German land, purchased by Standard Oil in August 1934.

Edited by onetrack
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Spacey, it can't really be called an Australian engine. Australian-built, yes - but it was 100% American in design, and not one whisker different from an American-built P&W engine.


However, in the case of GMH, the Australian body engineers employed by GMH, enjoyed the freedom to change and produce designs as they saw fit, within the company budget.

As a result, we had these blokes design the GMH family of "Slopers" - Oldsmobile, Chevrolet, Pontiac and Buick - as well as lots of other design changes that differentiate Australian-built cars that were American in origin.


This ability went back to not long after GMH was formed. I have an Australian 1932 Chevrolet roadster that has small, but distinctive design changes, to the American 1932 Chevrolets.

The windscreen shape, the windscreen frame, and the windscreen posts, are completely different on the Australian '32 Chevs, compared to the American '32 Chevs. Many people think the Australian design is better-looking.

The American Chevs of 1932 had separate cowl-mounted park lights. The Australian Chevs had no cowl lamps, and the park lights were mounted in the headlight reflector.


If the CAC engineers had said, "Hey, we can improve on this Wasp design", and altered many features of the P&W Wasp, it could perhaps then, be rightfully called an Australian engine.

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