Author: CaptianNemo Some time ago it was announced that Wargaming and Kubinka would be teaming up for an ambitious project to restore the Maus. Regardless of whether they are serious or not, it will be an expensive undertaking as The_Chieftain showed in his Inside the Maus video. Currently, the Maus is basically a hollow box missing even controls and interior supports for the gun. Electrical equipment is missing and likely the electric drive motors are missing but it is hard to say. But to drive it you need an engine to generate the electrical power to drive the tank. And yes, there are a number of lower hp engines that you could pull off the shelf to produce electricity to drive the tank forward at a very low speed. (There are a number of modern 6 cylinder 300-400 hp engines that would fit.) You might start sputtering about now about how the Maus had the finely made German engine (they really were well made) with finely made German cams and one piece crank with all of the fine accessories that go with the engine. This is true, it did have all that and more. The suggestion for the 6 cylinder is simply because of reliability and ease of installation, as you will soon find out. On top of this, the engines are actually available. Finding a 70 year old engine is not always possible and finding one and then building it to the unique specs of an engine destined for the Maus will be no easy task. Admittedly, some engines are available and they are usually airplane engines, which are not running, are basically priceless and are generally not suitable for tanks in any case. To the few people that suggested in the Maus restoration announcement article fitting the Maus with a modern engine, which is not a bad idea…Thanks. But there is a problem with that and it is the same problem that plagued the original design back in 1944 and, to a degree, the entire Maus development. To put it simply, the engine bay was designed to be large for 1942, but was hopelessly small for the horsepower that the designers later wanted to obtain in 1943/44, after the prototype was well under construction. Engine History Our story of the Maus engines begins with the beginning on January 8th, 1942. On that day, Porsche technicians started looking around for suitable engines for a new tank project(The 100 ton Panzer Project that later developed into the VK 100.01 Porsche). So they started their search at the best place to look for such a powerful engine, at Mercedes-Benz in Stuttgart-Untertükheim. The engine in question would need to be able to produce a minimum of 800 hp (Technically I should say PS but translators being what they are translate any statement of PS into HP and so that is what I use for the entirety of the article. ) which happens to be more horsepower than two Porsche Type 101/1, V-10, air-cooled engines, rated at 320 hp each running in tandem. The Porsche Type 101/1 if you recall from the discussion of the Porsche Type 102 (See: Tiger Tales: Type 102 – the forgotten VK.45.01(P)), had just been finished and test run in December 1941, upon which, it self-destructed. Mercedes-Benz offed Porsche two different engine options. The first being a tandem arrangement of an off-the-shelf MB 809 and an MB 819 engines being paired together to produce approximately 800-810 hp in total. The second option was another off-the-shelf offer of the MB 507 engine of roughly 800-1000 hp. After this initial offering development commences and a series of proposals for both hulls, guns and turrets with arguing going in circles between Porsche, Krupp, Hitler, Speer and various branches of the German Army Weapons Agency(Wa Prüf) on what was the best design and best specifications for the tank. This would lead to a series of designs throughout April, June and July. With mention occurring of an unknown 900 hp engine being suggested around July 1942 but I have no other details on that. It would not be until October 5th 1942 that engines would be brought up again and this time it is inline with what more resembles the production Maus. The Porsche Type 205 A Sk. 7949 and Type 205 B Sk. 7948 which differed only in their choice of engine installations. The gun selection up until this point was not even finalized, and would not be, until February 1943.The two engines proposed were was a unnamed 44 liter 1000 hp diesel engine, for the Type 205 A Sk. 7949, which is almost certainly the MB 507C and for the Type 205 B Sk. 7948 Porsche proposed, what is called in Panzer Tracts 6-3, the 780 hp Type 205/2 engine which is most certainly the Type 203 X-18 turbocharged diesel engine. Once the Type 203 X-18 engine was admitted to be a complete and utter failure Porsche proposed his Type 203 X-16 engine of 700 hp as a replacement and later, the outgrowth of the Type 203 X-16 design, the Type 212 X-16 producing 1500 hp. After this things begin to progress more quickly as orders begin to be placed for armor and various long lead components. On November 10th 1942 the DB 603 engine is brought up for the first time when it is proposed to be used in a Porsche 170 ton tank in two different stages of tune. The first in 900 hp unsupercharged and the second supercharged at 1500 hp. It is only on Feb 17th 1943 with the gun selection nearly finished and confirmed, that the use of the DB 603 for the Maus is mentioned. It is proposed to fit the DB 603 to the Maus with an output of 1375 hp but this is later amended to 1200 hp due to the difference in fuel availability. The proposal came with the intention that the Maus could use 87-Octane fuel and not the 74-Octane commercial gas which in reality was all that was available for ground vehicles. At the same time a rumor reached Krupp that the DB 603 was producing 1375 hp while Krupp was busy with the less radical Tiger-Maus project(Tiger-Maus is its own grand story). Installed on February 8th 1943 the MB 509 producing 1080 hp, but not more than 1200-1250hp at max rpm, was used to power Maus hull number 1. The MB 509 is derived from the DB 603 engine with changes made to make it more suitable to tank use. The fuel used was commercial gasoline mixed with additives to bring the octane rating up to the engines specs. On Continue reading →

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