Packard Radial Diesel DR-980

Information & discussion on Packard's non-automotive businesses.
Dave Czirr
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Packard Radial Diesel DR-980

Post by Dave Czirr » Tue Sep 20, 2011 5:25 am

I was unaware until this week that one of these famous engines survives and is on display at the USAF Museum in Dayton, OH.

PS - I understand another may survive at the Franklin Institute in Phila. According to Robert Neal's wonderful book "Master Motor Builders" the production run of this engine was 100 units.
DR 980 Diesel.jpg

John Harley
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Re: Packard Radial Diesel DR-980

Post by John Harley » Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:38 pm


Only 98 more to track down. I wasn't aware they sold any, I guess I should review that book again. The concept seems very timely now


John Harley

Robert Neal
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Re: Packard Radial Diesel DR-980

Post by Robert Neal » Sun Jun 09, 2013 5:05 pm

I stumbled across this thread entry recently and thought I would update the currently known loctions of DR-980 engines.

I know the location of about a dozen, but almost all are in various museums. They are as follows:

Pioneer Village Museum in Minden, Nebraska. A single engine on display

America's Packard Museum in Dayton Engine on a factory display stand (No 154 I believe)

NASM has two engines. One of them is the first DR-980 to fly.

The Ford Museum in Dearborn has one.

Air Force Museum in Dayton has 1 for sure and I think a second one.

New England Air Museum has 1.

The Science Museum in London has 1.

Franklin Institute in Philadelphia had 1.

San Diego Aerospace Museum has 2.

There was one reported in South America years ago but I believe I heard it is now in the US somewhere, possibly owned by Greg Herrick and his Golden Wings Flying Museum. Herrick owns the ex Packard Motor Car Company Buhl Air Sedan (currently with a non-Packard radial). He also owns the ex Packard Stinson Detroiter and it is DR-980 powered. This is a private museum.

There may be one in the Fantasy Of Flight Museum in Florida, possibly the South American engine. This is a private museum.

It is possible a couple may have changed locations as this list was put together some time ago, but since the locations are musuems, it is doubtful.

Robert Neal

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Re: Packard Radial Diesel DR-980

Post by Adam » Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:33 am

I remember going to the museum in Dayton whilst attending the PAC National in Columbus in 1992. I saw the radial diesel then. Fascinating museum.

I also got to ride on one of the famous school buses on the way there!! Pity they never devised any suspension travel when they designed them. :D

"Do not underestimate the English cousin.....they are not as stupid as they look!" - Signor Altabani in The Italian Job.

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Re: Packard Radial Diesel DR-980

Post by PACKARDAPL » Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:53 pm

There is an early Packard aircraft engine (WWI Style) at the Naval Air Museum at (NAS) Pensacola FLA. If I remember
correctly they also had a "Merlin". This is a 'Have-TO See' airplane museum. Everything from the very early days to
NASA material. There were things in there I had never even heard of.. Also a very large seaplane from the early 20s
hung from the ceiling. They even have several salvaged WW2 fighter brought up recently from the Great Lakes.

A. Ballard 35R
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Re: Packard Radial Diesel DR-980

Post by A. Ballard 35R » Sun Feb 16, 2014 9:40 am

Does anyone have any interest in a fold out brochure titled THE PACKARD-DIESEL AIRCRAFT ENGIINE?

Copyright 1930 by the Packard Motor Car Company and it gives specifications but no model designation. Displacement is listed as 982 cubic inches.

Not sure of value but would be willing to sell it.


Dave Czirr
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Re: Packard Radial Diesel DR-980

Post by Dave Czirr » Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:11 am

I suspect it was widely distributed and not that rare, I have one myself and have seen others. Perhaps instead of selling outright you might think about donating it to one of the several Packard museums or the Proving Grounds and taking the tax deduction?

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Re: Packard Radial Diesel DR-980

Post by RogerDetroit » Wed May 31, 2017 5:57 am

I am currently trying to track down information on the 1931 Mooney A-1 aircraft in the photo shown below. As you can tell, it is flying over the PPG. It is powered by a DR-980 - notice the very distinctive circular oil cooling tubes in front of the engine.

We (the Packard Proving Grounds) would like to have a DR-980 on display in our aircraft hangar on site. That and also a Liberty engine and a Packard-built Merlin engine - dead or alive. Anyone know where we can find a donor/benefactor?
1931 Mooney DR-980 over PPG -  Resize.jpg
1931 Mooney A-1 DR-980.JPG
1941 Packard 160 Convertible Sedan
1941 Packard 120 Business Coupe
1968 AMX - Dick Teague designed

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Re: Packard Radial Diesel DR-980

Post by Ozstatman » Fri Jun 02, 2017 12:42 am

Currently - '50 Packard Eight Touring Sedan
Previously - '41 120 Club Coupe(Sold October 2017) & '38 Eight Touring Sedan(Sold July 2009)
Bowral, Southern Highlands, NSW Australia

"Out of chaos comes order" - Nietzsche.

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Re: Packard Radial Diesel DR-980

Post by SootmeisterJim » Fri Dec 22, 2017 11:08 am

Have been reading Neal's Master Motor Builders and, WOW!, what a book! Just the kind of pedantic tome I like to do myself. Guys on the site here recommended this book and I really grateful for the recommendation. Magnificent book that give chapter and verse on the Packard radial diesels. I see now why Neal was so respected by the Packard community.

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