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World War Two Vehicle Photos
Studebaker R-1820 Aircraft
Engines on the B-17 "Yankee Lady"
Studebaker World War Two
Fort Wayne Plant Photos
Fort Wayne, IN
1942-Present (Today as Rea Magnet Wire)
This page added 2-7-2018.
The Studebaker Aviation Plant in Fort Wayne, IN won four Army-Navy "E" Awards.
Located at 4300 New Haven Avenue on the east
side of Fort Wayne, IN this 500,000 square foot plant was built during
World War Two. The express purpose of the plant was producing
Wright R-1820 aircraft engine components and subassemblies to the
Studebaker aircraft engine plant on the south side of South Bend, IN
that was building the engine under license. After World War Two,
Phelps-Dodge Magnet Wire purchased the Fort Wayne plant, who converted
it into a magnet wire manufacturing plant. In 2006 the plant was
sold to Fort Wayne based Rea Magnet Wire.
Author's note: I was in this plant several times when it
was owned by Phelps-Dodge. At the time, I was the materials
engineer responsible for magnet wire at Delco-Remy, and unaware of the
plant's World War Two history.
During World War Two the name
Studebaker was over this entrance to the plant. I visited the
plant when it said Phelps-Dodge. Author's photo.
This photo looks west down New Haven Avenue.
The white structures on building are not original to the plant, but
added by Phelps-Dodge. The structures are vertical magnet wire
curing ovens, to dry the insulating enamel applied to the copper wire.
This R-1820 aircraft engines is one of
63,789 built by Studebaker during World War Two, and is on display at
the Studebaker Museum in South Bend, IN. Many of the components in
this engine were built in the Studebaker Fort Wayne plant.
All of the 63,789 R-1820s built by
Studebaker were for installation in the Boeing B-17. Starting in
January 1944 all B-17s were equipped with Studebaker built engines.
Both of the inboard engines on this B-17 were built by Studebaker.
One of a handful B-17s still flying, "Texas
Raiders" is seen here on display the Greenwood, IN airport in 2017.
The number three engine is a Wright Model
1820-97, which was specifically built for the B-17. It provided
1,200 hp, and operated with a turbo-supercharger. It is Studebaker
serial number S-046444. Author's photo.
The number two engine is Studebaker
serial number SW-045610. Author's photo.