Auke Visser's Famous T - Tankers Pages | home
Powerplant Patapsco Class Gasoline Tanker
GM 16-278A, inboard side blower end, right-hand engine.
GM 16-278A, outboard side control end, right-hand engine.
All Patapsco Class gasoline tankers like many other World War II era ships including submarines, LSTs, and
some destroyer escorts were diesel electric powered. Compared to steam, diesel electric propulsion systems
provided the AOGs long range and dependable, economical operation. Used in all 23 ships, the Model
16-278A or Winton V-type, General Motors diesel engine was manufactured by the Cleveland Diesel Engine
Division, General Motors Corporation.
Four Model 16-278A engines were installed aboard each ship. They were 16-cylinder V-type engines with 2
banks of 8 cylinders each. The 2-stroke engine is air started, and is rated at 1000 hp at 750 rpm. The size
of the bore and stroke of the 16-278A engine is 8 3/4 inches and 10 1/2 inches respectively, and it displaces
278 cubic inches per cylinder.
Each diesel engine was matched with a 775 kw 606 rpm General Electric main propulsion DC generator which
in turn drove a DC motor. The 220 volt 850\950 rpm DC motors were connected to the propeller shafts via a
set of reduction gears that decreased the shaft speed to a maximum of 240 rpms giving the ships a top speed
of 14 knots. Number 1 & 2 engines powered # 1 shaft (starboard) and number 3 & 4 engines powered # 2 (port)
Electric power for ship board consumption was provided by two General Motors Model 8-268 diesel engine,
225 kw generator sets. Later as demand for electricity increased, an additional General Motors 6-71 diesel
engine with a 60 kw generator was installed.