The V-1650 liquid-cooled engine was the U.S. version of the famous British Rolls-Royce Merlin engine, which powered the Spitfire and Hurricane fighters during the Battle of Britain in 1940. In September 1940 the Packard Co. agreed to build the Merlin engine for both the American and the British governments, and adapted it for American mass-production methods.
The first two Packard-built Merlins to be completed were demonstrated on test stands at a special ceremony at the Packard plant in Detroit on Aug. 2, 1941. Full production began in 1942. In total 55,511 Merlins were produced in the United States for the Army Air Forces (54,714 by Packard and an additional 797 by Continental).
The Army Air Forces used the engine almost exclusively in the famed P-51 Mustang, for it provided greatly improved high-altitude performance over the Allison V-1710 engine used in earlier series of that airplane. The V-1650 Merlin also replaced the V-1710 in the F series of the P-40. The British also used Packard-built Merlins during the last three years of the war in their Spitfire, Mosquito and Lancaster airplanes.
Model: V-1650-7 Type: 12-cylinder with two-stage mechanically-driven supercharger Displacement: 1,649 cu.in. Weight: 1,690 lbs. Maximum rpm: 3,000 Maximum hp: 1,695 Cost: $25,000