Tank engine 5TDF - an amazing invention

Lately, there have been a lot of cool inventions, and all these supercharging-injections seem amazing ... if you don't know the history. For the most amazing engine I know of was made in the Soviet Union and, as you guessed, not for Lada, but for the T-64 tank. It was called 5TDF, and here are some surprising facts.

It was a five-cylinder, which is unusual in itself. It had 10 pistons, ten connecting rods and two crankshafts. The pistons moved in the cylinders in opposite directions: first towards each other, then back, again towards each other, and so on. The power take-off was carried out from both crankshafts, so that it was convenient for the tank.

The engine worked on a two-stroke cycle, and the pistons played the role of spools that opened the intake and exhaust ports: that is, it did not have any valves or camshafts. The design was ingenious and efficient - the two-stroke cycle provided the maximum liter capacity, and the direct-flow blowdown provided high quality cylinder filling.

In addition, 5TDF was a direct injection diesel engine, where fuel was fed into the space between the pistons shortly before the moment when they reached their closest approach. Moreover, the injection was carried out by four nozzles along a tricky trajectory to ensure instant mixture formation.

But this is not enough. The engine had a turbocharger with a twist - the huge turbine and compressor were placed on the shaft and had a mechanical connection to one of the crankshafts. It was ingenious - in the acceleration mode, the compressor was twisted from the crankshaft, which eliminated the turbo lag, and when the flow of exhaust gases spun the turbine properly, the power from it was transmitted to the crankshaft, increasing the efficiency of the engine (such a turbine is called a power turbine).

In addition, the engine was multi-fuel. That is, it could run on diesel fuel, kerosene, aviation fuel, gasoline or any mixture of them.

Plus, fifty more unusual solutions were applied to the engine, such as composite pistons with heat-resistant steel inserts and a dry sump lubrication system - just like in racing cars.

All the tricks pursued two goals - to make the motor as compact, economical and powerful as possible. For a tank, all three parameters are important: the first facilitates the layout, the second improves / vktuning autonomy, the third - maneuverability.

The result was impressive: with a working volume of 13.6 liters in the most forced version, the engine developed more than 1000 hp. For a diesel engine of the 60s, this was an excellent result. In terms of specific liter and overall power, the engine surpassed analogues of other armies several times. I saw it live, and the layout is really amazing - the nickname "Suitcase" suits him very much. I would even say "a tightly packed suitcase."

It did not take root due to its excessive complexity and high cost. Against the background of 5TDF, any car engine - even from a Bugatti Veyron - seems somehow utterly banal. And what the hell is not kidding, technology can make a turn and again return to the solutions once used at 5TDF: two-stroke diesel cycle, power turbines, multi-nozzle injection.

A massive return to turbo engines began, which at one time were considered too difficult for non-sports cars.