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Unsung Hero

10/27/2014 | Words: Chuck Mahnken | Pictures: MTU Archive

2-Cycle engines

During the 20th Century's diesel-driven history, Detroit Diesel 2-Cycle engines could be found in just about every industry in every corner of the globe, including the military. The enormity of the engines' impact on the defense industry is hard to fathom. But for Robert Harvey, one sales call in 1993 put it all in perspective.

In the early 1990s, Robert was a manager of product development for Detroit Diesel's remanufacturing division. His job led him all over the United States, working on projects to repower a wide variety of equipment and vehicles. One sales call to a military contractor was particularly memorable. The contractor built tow trucks that work below deck on aircraft carriers. Operating in tight quarters, these vehicles move jets to the elevator that leads to the main deck.

The contractor was set to purchase remanufactured Detroit Diesel 2-Cycle long blocks for a truck overhaul project. The facility's director informed Robert that every U.S. Navy aircraft carrier used the same tow trucks. And they were all powered with Series 53 engines. Robert says, "I realized that every jet on every aircraft carrier in the U.S. arsenal was launched with the help of a Detroit Diesel 2-Cycle engine. From that point on, I can't see jets taking off from a carrier without thinking that a Detroit Diesel 2-Cycle engine made it possible."

These specialized trucks were critical to our nation's defense. If there was engine trouble, the jet didn't take to the skies. It was that simple. That's why industries all over the world have counted on the legendary reliability of Detroit Diesel 2-Cycle engines, and continue to rely on experienced personnel, who know Detroit Diesel 2-Cycle products inside and out.

Today, MTU exclusively owns and supports the Detroit Diesel 2-Cycle product line for all applications on a worldwide basis. The U.S. defense industry still relies on Detroit Diesel 2-Cycle engines for select jobs, and has since enlisted the support of specialized MTU military engines for other important vehicles and vessels. Robert now serves as Sr. Regional Parts & Service Manager, spending the majority of his time working on 2-Cycle. And like every member of the 2-Cycle product support team, Robert takes great pride in the major role these legendary engines have played in countless land and sea operations.

The content of the stories reflects the status as of the respective date of publication. They are not updated. Further developments are therefore not taken into account.

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