Mikulin M-17

Mikulin M-17

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Mikulin M-17

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The Mikulin M-17 was a Soviet-licensed copy of the German BMW VI V-12 liquid-cooled aircraft piston engine, further developed by Alexander Mikulin and used by Soviet aircraft during World War II. Production began in 1930 and continued through 1942. More than 27,000 were produced, of which 19,000 were aircraft engines while the rest were used in Soviet tanks of the period.

Acquisition and production

The Soviets had bought examples of BMW's III and IV engines earlier in the 1920s and bought two examples of the VI engine in 1926 for evaluation. Following successful bench trials of the engine the Soviets decided to purchase a license for it. A deal was concluded in October 1927 after prolonged negotiations. The Soviets paid $50,000 and were to pay 7.5% of the price of each engine produced after the first fifty. In exchange the German company was to inform the Soviets of all changes to the engine for a period of five years. Soviet engineers and technicians were to be trained in Germany and German technicians were to assist setting up production in the vacant factory at Rybinsk. The Soviets also hired a number of German skilled workers to work at Factory No. 26 in Rybinsk, mostly from those with communist sympathies.

The need to refurbish the factory greatly delayed Soviet production, even though the more complex components, including all electrical equipment, were initially imported from Germany. Soviet changes to the design and production...
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