Aeronautics History Vivian 1920 07 Engine Development

Version vom 15. August 2022, 11:50 Uhr von Gego (Diskussion | Beiträge)
(Unterschied) ← Nächstältere Version | Aktuelle Version (Unterschied) | Nächstjüngere Version → (Unterschied)
Wechseln zu: Navigation, Suche

A History of Aeronautics
by E. Charles Vivian



The balloon was but a year old when the brothers Robert, in 1784 attempted propulsion of an aerial vehicle by hand-power, and succeeded, to a certain extent, since they were able to make progress when there was only a slight wind to counteract their work. But, as may be easily understood, the manual power provided gave but a very slow speed, and in any wind it all the would-be airship became an uncontrolled balloon.

Henson and Stringfellow, with their light steam engines, were first to attempt conquest of the problem of mechanical propulsion in the air; their work in this direction is so fully linked up with their constructed models that it has been outlined in the section dealing with the development of the aeroplane. But, very shortly after these two began, there came into the field a Monsieur Henri Giffard, who first achieved success in the propulsion by mechanical means of dirigible balloons, for his was the first airship to fly against the wind. He employed a small steam-engine developing about 3 horse-power and weighing 350 lbs. with boiler, fitting the whole in a car suspended from the gas-bag of his dirigible. The propeller which this engine worked was 11 feet in diameter, and the inventor, who made several flights, obtained a speed of 6 miles an hour against a slight wind. The power was not sufficient to render the invention practicable, as the dirigible could only be used in calm weather, but Giffard was sufficiently encouraged by his results to get out plans for immense dirigibles, which through lack of funds he was unable to construct. When, later, his invention of the steam-injector gave him the means he desired, he became blind, and in 1882 died, having built but the one famous dirigible.

This appears to have been the only instance of a steam engine being fitted to a dirigible; the inherent disadvantage of this form of motive power is that a boiler to generate the steam must be carried, and this, together with the weight of water and fuel, renders the steam engine uneconomical in relation to the lift either of plane or gas-bag. Again, even if the weight could be brought down to a reasonable amount, the attention required by steam plant renders it undesirable as a motive power for aircraft when compared with the internal combustion engine.

Maxim, in Artificial and Natural Flight, details the engine which he constructed for use with his giant experimental flying machine, and his description is worthy of reproduction since it is that of the only steam engine besides Giffard's, and apart from those used for the propulsion of models, designed for driving an aeroplane. 'In 1889,' Maxim says, 'I had my attention drawn to some very thin, strong, and comparatively cheap tubes which were being made in France, and it was only after I had seen these tubes that I seriously considered the question of making a flying machine. I obtained a large quantity of them and found that they were very light, that they would stand enormously high pressures, and generate a very large quantity of steam. Upon going into a mathematical calculation of the whole subject, I found that it would be possible to make a machine on the aeroplane system, driven by a steam engine, which would be sufficiently strong to lift itself into the air. I first made drawings of a steam engine, and a pair of these engines was afterwards made. These engines are constructed, for the most part, of a very high grade of cast steel, the cylinders being only 3/32 of an inch thick, the crank shafts hollow, and every part as strong and light as possible. They are compound, each having a high-pressure piston with an area of 20 square inches, a low-pressure piston of 50.26 square inches, and a common stroke of 1 foot. When first finished they were found to weigh 300 lbs. each; but after putting on the oil cups, felting, painting, and making some slight alterations, the weight was brought up to 320 lbs. each, or a total of 640 lbs. for the two engines, which have since developed 362 horsepower with a steam pressure of 320 lbs. per square inch.'

The result is remarkable, being less than 2 lbs. weight per horse-power, especially when one considers the state of development to which the steam engine had attained at the time these experiments were made. The fining down of the internal combustion engine, which has done so much to solve the problems of power in relation to weight for use with aircraft, had not then been begun, and Maxim had nothing to guide him, so far as work on the part of his predecessors was concerned, save the experimental engines of Stringfellow, which, being constructed on so small a scale in comparison with his own, afforded little guidance. Concerning the factor of power, he says: 'When first designing this engine, I did not know how much power I might require from it. I thought that in some cases it might be necessary to allow the high-pressure steam to enter the low-pressure cylinder direct, but as this would involve a considerable loss, I constructed a species of injector. This injector may be so adjusted (hat when the steam in the boiler rises above a certain predetermined point, say 300 lbs., to the square inch, it opens a valve and escapes past the high-pressure cylinder instead of blowing off at the safety valve. In escaping through this valve, a fall of about 200 lbs. pressure per square inch is made to do work on the surrounding steam and drive it forward in the pipe, producing a pressure on the low-pressure piston considerably higher than the back-pressure on the high-pressure piston. In this way a portion of the work which would otherwise be lost is utilised, and it is possible, with an unlimited supply of steam, to cause the engines to develop an enormous amount of power.'

With regard to boilers, Maxim writes,

'The first boiler which I made was constructed something on the Herreshof principle, but instead of having one simple pipe in one very long coil, I used a series of very small and light pipes, connected in such a manner that there was a rapid circulation through the whole--the tubes increasing in size and number as the steam was generated. I intended that there should be a pressure of about 100 lbs. more on the feed water end of the series than on the steam end, and I believed that this difference in pressure would be sufficient to ensure direct and positive circulation through every tube in the series. The first boiler was exceedingly light, but the workmanship, as far as putting the tubes together was concerned, was very bad, and it was found impossible to so adjust the supply of water as to make dry steam without overheating and destroying the tubes.

'Before making another boiler I obtained a quantity of copper tubes, about 8 feet long, 3/8 inch external diameter, and 1/50 of an inch thick. I subjected about 100 of these tubes to an internal pressure of 1 ton per square inch of cold kerosene oil, and as none of them leaked I did not test any more, but commenced my experiments by placing some of them in a white-hot petroleum fire. I found that I could evaporate as much as 26 1/2 lbs. of water per square foot of heating surface per hour, and that with a forced circulation, although the quantity of water passing was very small but positive, there was no danger of overheating. I conducted many experiments with a pressure of over 400 lbs. per square inch, but none of the tubes failed. I then mounted a single tube in a white-hot furnace, also with a water circulation, and found that it only burst under steam at a pressure of 1,650 lbs. per square inch. A large boiler, having about 800 square feet of heating surface, including the feed-water heater, was then constructed. This boiler is about 4 1/2 feet wide at the bottom, 8 feet long and 6 feet high. It weighs, with the casing, the dome, and the smoke stack and connections, a little less than 1,000 lbs. The water first passes through a system of small tubes--1/4 inch in diameter and 1/60 inch thick--which were placed at the top of the boiler and immediately over the large tubes.... This feed-water heater is found to be very effective. It utilises the heat of the products of combustion after they have passed through the boiler proper and greatly reduces their temperature, while the feed-water enters the boiler at a temperature of about 250 F. A forced circulation is maintained in the boiler, the feed-water entering through a spring valve, the spring valve being adjusted in such a manner that the pressure on the water is always 30 lbs. per square inch in excess of the boiler pressure. This fall of 30 lbs. in pressure acts upon the surrounding hot water which has already passed through the tubes, and drives it down through a vertical outside tube, thus ensuring a positive and rapid circulation through all the tubes. This apparatus is found to act extremely well.'

Thus Maxim, who with this engine as power for his large aeroplane achieved free flight once, as a matter of experiment, though for what distance or time the machine was actually off the ground is matter for debate, since it only got free by tearing up the rails which were to have held it down in the experiment. Here, however, was a steam engine which was practicable for use in the air, obviously, and only the rapid success of the internal combustion engine prevented the steam-producing type from being developed toward perfection.

The first designers of internal combustion engines, knowing nothing of the petrol of these days, constructed their examples with a view to using gas as fuel. As far back as 1872 Herr Paul Haenlein obtained a speed of about 10 miles an hour with a balloon propelled by an internal combustion engine, of which the fuel was gas obtained from the balloon itself. The engine in this case was of the Lenoir type, developing some 6 horse-power, and, obviously, Haenlein's flights were purely experimental and of short duration, since he used the gas that sustained him and decreased the lifting power of his balloon with every stroke of the piston of his engine. No further progress appears to have been made with the gas-consuming type of internal combustion engine for work with aircraft; this type has the disadvantage of requiring either a gas-producer or a large storage capacity for the gas, either of which makes the total weight of the power plant much greater than that of a petrol engine. The latter type also requires less attention when working, and the fuel is more convenient both for carrying and in the matter of carburation.

The first airship propelled by the present-day type of internal combustion engine was constructed by Baumgarten and Wolfert in 1879 at Leipzig, the engine being made by Daimler with a view to working on benzine--petrol as a fuel had not then come to its own. The construction of this engine is interesting since it was one of the first of Daimler's make, and it was the development brought about by the experimental series of which this engine was one that led to the success of the motor-car in very few years, incidentally leading to that fining down of the internal combustion engine which has facilitated the development of the aeroplane with such remarkable rapidity. Owing to the faulty construction of the airship no useful information was obtained from Daimler's pioneer installation, as the vessel got out of control immediately after it was first launched for flight, and was wrecked. Subsequent attempts at mechanically-propelled flight by Wolfert ended, in 1897, in the balloon being set on fire by an explosion of benzine vapour, resulting in the death of both the aeronauts.

Daimler, from 1882 onward, devoted his attention to the perfecting of the small, high-speed petrol engine for motor-car work, and owing to his efforts, together with those of other pioneer engine-builders, the motorcar was made a success. In a few years the weight of this type of engine was reduced from near on a hundred pounds per horse-power to less than a tenth of that weight, but considerable further improvement had to be made before an engine suitable for use with aircraft was evolved.

The increase in power of the engines fitted to airships has made steady progress from the outset; Haenlein's engine developed about 6 horse-power; the Santos-Dumont airship of 1898 was propelled by a motor of 4 horse-power; in 1902 the Lebaudy airship was fitted with an engine of 40 horse-power, while, in 1910, the Lebaudy brothers fitted an engine of nearly 300 horsepower to the airship they were then constructing--1,400 horse-power was common in the airships of the War period, and the later British rigids developed yet more.

Before passing on to consideration of the petrol-driven type of engine, it is necessary to accord brief mention to the dirigible constructed in 1884 by Gaston and Albert Tissandier, who at Grenelle, France, achieved a directed flight in a wind of 8 miles an hour, obtaining their power for the propeller from 1 1/3 horse-power Siemens electric motor, which weighed 121 lbs. and took its current from a bichromate battery weighing 496 lbs. A two-bladed propeller, 9 feet in diameter, was used, and the horse-power output was estimated to have run up to 1 1/2 as the dirigible successfully described a semicircle in a wind of 8 miles an hour, subsequently making headway transversely to a wind of 7 miles an hour. The dirigible with which this motor was used was of the conventional pointed-end type, with a length of 92 feet, diameter of 30 feet, and capacity of 37,440 cubic feet of gas. Commandant Renard, of the French army balloon corps, followed up Tissandier's attempt in the next year--1885--making a trip from Chalais-Meudon to Paris and returning to the point of departure quite successfully. In this case the motive power was derived from an electric plant of the type used by the Tissandiers, weighing altogether 1,174 lbs., and developing 9 horsepower. A speed of 14 miles an hour was attained with this dirigible, which had a length of 165 feet, diameter of 27 feet, and capacity of 65,836 cubic feet of gas.

Reverting to the petrol-fed type again, it is to be noted that Santos-Dumont was practically the first to develop the use of the ordinary automobile engine for air work--his work is of such importance that it has been considered best to treat of it as one whole, and details of the power plants are included in the account of his experiments. Coming to the Lebaudy brothers and their work, their engine of 1902 was a 40 horse-power Daimler, four-cylindered; it was virtually a large edition of the Daimler car engine, the arrangement of the various details being on the lines usually adopted for the standard Daimler type of that period. The cylinders were fully water-jacketed, and no special attempt toward securing lightness for air work appears to have been made.

The fining down of detail that brought weight to such limits as would fit the engine for work with heavier-than-air craft appears to have waited for the brothers Wright. Toward the end of 1903 they fitted to their first practicable flying machine the engine which made the historic first aeroplane flight; this engine developed 30 horse-power, and weighed only about 7 lbs. per horse-power developed, its design and workmanship being far ahead of any previous design in this respect, with the exception of the remarkable engine, designed by Manly, installed in Langley's ill-fated aeroplane--or 'aerodrome,' as he preferred to call it--tried in 1903.

The light weight of the Wright brothers' engine did not necessitate a high number of revolutions per minute to get the requisite power; the speed was only 1,300 revolutions per minute, which, with a piston stroke of 3.94 inches, was quite moderate. Four cylinders were used, the cylinder diameter being 4.42 inches; the engine was of the vertical type, arranged to drive two propellers at a rate of about 350 revolutions per minute, gearing being accomplished by means of chain drive from crank-shaft end to propeller spindle.

The methods adopted by the Wrights for obtaining a light-weight engine were of considerable interest, in view of the fact that the honour of first achieving flight by means of the driven plane belongs to them--unless Ader actually flew as he claimed. The cylinders of this first Wright engine were separate castings of steel, and only the barrels were jacketed, this being done by fixing loose, thin aluminium covers round the outside of each cylinder. The combustion head and valve pockets were cast together with the cylinder barrel, and were not water cooled. The inlet valves were of the automatic type, arranged on the tops of the cylinders, while the exhaust valves were also overhead, operated by rockers and push-rods. The pistons and piston rings were of the ordinary type, made of cast-iron, and the connecting rods were circular in form, with a hole drilled down the middle of each to reduce the weight.

Necessity for increasing power and ever lighter weight in relation to the power produced has led to the evolution of a number of different designs of internal combustion engines. It was quickly realised that increasing the number of cylinders on an engine was a better way of getting more power than that of increasing the cylinder diameter, as the greater number of cylinders gives better torque-even turning effect--as well as keeping down the weight--this latter because the bigger cylinders must be more stoutly constructed than the small sizes; this fact has led to the construction of engines having as many as eighteen cylinders, arranged in three parallel rows in order to keep the length of crankshaft within reasonable limits. The aero engine of to-day may, roughly, be divided into four classes: these are the V type, in which two rows of cylinders are set parallel at a certain angle to each other; the radial type, which consists of cylinders arranged radially and remaining stationary while the crankshaft revolves; the rotary, where the cylinders are disposed round a common centre and revolve round a stationary shaft, and the vertical type, of four or six cylinders--seldom more than this--arranged in one row. A modification of the V type is the eighteen-cylindered engine-- the Sunbeam is one of the best examples--in which three rows of cylinders are set parallel to each other, working on a common crankshaft. The development these four types started with that of the vertical--the simplest of all; the V, radial, and rotary types came after the vertical, in the order given.

The evolution of the motor-car led to the adoption of the vertical type of internal combustion engine in preference to any other, and it followed naturally that vertical engines should be first used for aeroplane propulsion, as by taking an engine that had been developed to some extent, and adapting it to its new work, the problem of mechanical flight was rendered easier than if a totally new type had had to be evolved. It was quickly realised--by the Wrights, in fact-that the minimum of weight per horse-power was the prime requirement for the successful development of heavier-than-air machines, and at the same time it was equally apparent that the utmost reliability had to be obtained from the engine, while a third requisite was economy, in order to reduce the weight of petrol necessary for flight.

Daimler, working steadily toward the improvement of the internal combustion engine, had made considerable progress by the end of last century. His two-cylinder engine of 1897 was approaching to the present-day type, except as regards the method of ignition; the cylinders had 3.55 inch diameter, with a 4.75 inch piston stroke, and the engine was rated at 4.5 brake horse-power, though it probably developed more than this in actual running at its rated speed of 800 revolutions per minute. Power was limited by the inlet and exhaust passages, which, compared with present-day practice, were very small. The heavy castings of which the engine was made up are accounted for by the necessity for considering foundry practice of the time, for in 1897 castings were far below the present-day standard. The crank-case of this two-cylinder vertical Daimler engine was the only part made of aluminium, and even with this no attempt was made to attain lightness, for a circular flange was cast at the bottom to form a stand for the engine during machining and erection. The general design can be followed from the sectional views, and these will show, too, that ignition was by means of a hot tube on the cylinder head, which had to be heated with a blow-lamp before starting the engine. With all its well known and hated troubles, at that time tube ignition had an advantage over the magneto, and the coil and accumulator system, in reliability; sparking plugs, too, were not so reliable then as they are now. Daimler fitted a very simple type of carburettor to this engine, consisting only of a float with a single jet placed in the air passage. It may be said that this twin-cylindered vertical was the first of the series from which has been evolved the Mercedes-Daimler car and airship engines, built in sizes up to and even beyond 240 horse-power.

In 1901 the development of the petrol engine was still so slight that it did not admit of the construction, by any European maker, of an engine weighing less than 12 lbs. per horse-power. Manly, working at the instance of Professor Langley, produced a five-cylindered radial type engine, in which both the design and workmanship showed a remarkable advance in construction. At 950 revolutions per minute it developed 52.4 horse-power, weighing only 2.4 pounds per horse-power; it was a very remarkable achievement in engine design, considering the power developed in relation to the total weight, and it was, too, an interruption in the development of the vertical type which showed that there were other equally great possibilities in design.

In England, the first vertical aero-engine of note was that designed by Green, the cylinder dimensions being 4.15 inch diameter by 4.75 stroke--a fairly complete idea of this engine can be obtained from the accompanying diagrams. At a speed of 1,160 revolutions per minute it developed 35 brake horse-power, and by accelerating up to 1,220 revolutions per minute a maximum of 40 brake horse-power could be obtained--the first-mentioned was the rated working speed of the engine for continuous runs. A flywheel, weighing 23.5 lbs., was fitted to the engine, and this, together with the ignition system, brought the weight up to 188 lbs., giving 5.4 lbs. per horse-power. In comparison with the engine fitted to the Wrights' aeroplane a greater power was obtained from approximately the same cylinder volume, and an appreciable saving in weight had also been effected. The illustration shows the arrangement of the vertical valves at the top of the cylinder and the overhead cam shaft, while the position of the carburettor and inlet pipes can be also seen. The water jackets were formed by thin copper casings, each cylinder being separate and having its independent jacket rigidly fastened to the cylinder at the top only, thus allowing for free expansion of the casing; the joint at the bottom end was formed by sliding the jacket over a rubber ring. Each cylinder was bolted to the crank-case and set out of line with the crankshaft, so that the crank has passed over the upper dead centre by the time that the piston is at the top of its stroke when receiving the full force of fuel explosion. The advantage of this desaxe setting is that the pressure in the cylinder acts on the crank-pin with a more effective leverage during that part of the stroke when that pressure is highest, and in addition the side pressure of the piston on the cylinder wall, due to the thrust of the connecting rod, is reduced. Possibly the charging of the cylinder is also more complete by this arrangement, owing to the slower movement of the piston at the bottom of its stroke allowing time for an increased charge of mixture to enter the cylinder.

A 60 horse-power engine was also made, having four vertical cylinders, each with a diameter of 5.5 inches and stroke of 5.75 inches, developing its rated power at 1,100 revolutions per minute. By accelerating up to 1,200 revolutions per minute 70 brake horsepower could be obtained, and a maximum of 80 brake horse-power was actually attained with the type. The flywheel, fitted as with the original 35 horse-power engine, weighed 37 lbs.; with this and with the ignition system the total weight of the engine was only 250 lbs., or 4.2 lbs. per horse-power at the normal rating. In this design, however, low weight in relation to power was not the ruling factor, for Green gave more attention to reliability and economy of fuel consumption, which latter was approximately 0.6 pint of petrol per brake horse-power per hour. Both the oil for lubricating the bearings and the water for cooling the cylinders were circulated by pumps, and all parts of the valve gear, etc., were completely enclosed for protection from dust.

A later development of the Green engine was a six-cylindered vertical, cylinder dimensions being 5.5 inch diameter by 6 inch stroke, developing 120 brake horsepower when running at 1,250 revolutions per minute. The total weight of the engine with ignition system 398 was 440 lbs., or 3.66 lbs. per horse-power. One of these engines was used on the machine which, in 1909, won the prize of L1,000 for the first circular mile flight, and it may be noted, too, that S. F. Cody, making the circuit of England in 1911, used a four-cylinder Green engine. Again, it was a Green engine that in 1914 won the L5,000 prize offered for the best aero engine in the Naval and Military aeroplane engine competition.

Manufacture of the Green engines, in the period of the War, had standardised to the production of three types. Two of these were six-cylinder models, giving respectively 100 and 150 brake horse-power, and the third was a twelve-cylindered model rated at 275 brake horse-power.

In 1910 J. S. Critchley compiled a list showing the types of engine then being manufactured; twenty-two out of a total of seventy-six were of the four-cylindered vertical type, and in addition to these there were two six-cylindered verticals. The sizes of the four-cylinder types ranged from 26 up to 118 brake horse-power; fourteen of them developed less than 50 horse-power, and only two developed over 100 horse-power.

It became apparent, even in the early stages of heavier-than-air flying, that four-cylinder engines did not produce the even torque that was required for the rotation of the power shaft, even though a flywheel was fitted to the engine. With this type of engine the breakage of air-screws was of frequent occurrence, and an engine having a more regular rotation was sought, both for this and to avoid the excessive vibration often experienced with the four-cylinder type. Another, point that forced itself on engine builders was that the increased power which was becoming necessary for the propulsion of aircraft made an increase in the number of cylinders essential, in order to obtain a light engine. An instance of the weight reduction obtainable in using six cylinders instead of four is shown in Critchley's list, for one of the four-cylinder engines developed 118.5 brake horse-power and weighed 1,100 lbs., whereas a six-cylinder engine by the same manufacturer developed 117.5 brake horse-power with a weight of 880 lbs., the respective cylinder dimensions being 7.48 diameter by 9.06 stroke for the four-cylinder engine, and 6.1 diameter by 7.28 stroke for the six-cylinder type.

A list of aeroplane engines, prepared in 1912 by Graham Clark, showed that, out of the total number of 112 engines then being manufactured, forty-two were of the vertical type, and of this number twenty-four had four-cylinders while sixteen were six-cylindered. The German aeroplane engine trials were held a year later, and sixty-six engines entered the competition, fourteen of these being made with air-cooled cylinders. All of the ten engines that were chosen for the final trials were of the water-cooled type, and the first place was won by a Benz four-cylinder vertical engine which developed 102 brake horse-power at 1,288 revolutions per minute. The cylinder dimensions of this engine were 5.1 inch diameter by 7.1 inch stroke, and the weight of the engine worked out at 3.4 lbs. per brake horse-power. During the trials the full-load petrol consumption was 0.53 pint per horse-power per hour, and the amount of lubricating oil used was 0.0385 pint per brake horse-power per hour. In general construction this Benz engine was somewhat similar to the Green engine already described; the overhead valves, fitted in the tops of the cylinders, were similarly arranged, as was the cam-shaft; two springs were fitted to each of the valves to guard against the possibility of the engine being put out of action by breakage of one of the springs, and ignition was obtained by two high-tension magnetos giving simultaneous sparks in each cylinder by means of two sparking plugs--this dual ignition reduced the possibility of ignition troubles. The cylinder jackets were made of welded sheet steel so fitted around the cylinder that the head was also water-cooled, and the jackets were corrugated in the middle to admit of independent expansion. Even the lubrication system was duplicated, two sets of pumps being used, one to circulate the main supply of lubricating oil, and the other to give a continuous supply of fresh oil to the bearings, so that if the supply from one pump failed the other could still maintain effective lubrication.

Development of the early Daimler type brought about the four-cylinder vertical Mercedes-Daimler engine of 85 horse-power, with cylinders of 5.5 diameter with 5.9 inch stroke, the cylinders being cast in two pairs. The overhead arrangement of valves was adopted, and in later designs push-rods were eliminated, the overhead cam-shaft being adopted in their place. By 1914 the four-cylinder Mercedes-Daimler had been partially displaced from favour by a six-cylindered model, made in two sizes; the first of these gave a nominal brake horse-power of 80, having cylinders of 4.1 inches diameter by 5.5 inches stroke; the second type developed 100 horse-power with cylinders 4.7 inches in diameter and 5.5 inches stroke, both types being run at 1,200 revolutions per minute. The cylinders of both these types were cast in pairs, and, instead of the water jackets forming part of the casting, as in the design of the original four-cylinder Mercedes-Daimler engine, they were made of steel welded to flanges on the cylinders. Steel pistons, fitted with cast-iron rings, were used, and the overhead arrangement of valves and cam-shaft was adopted. About 0.55 pint per brake horse-power per hour was the usual fuel consumption necessary to full load running, and the engine was also economical as regards the consumption of lubricating oil, the lubricating system being 'forced' for all parts, including the cam-shaft. The shape of these engines was very well suited for work with aircraft, being narrow enough to admit of a streamline form being obtained, while all the accessories could be so mounted as to produce little or no wind resistance, and very little obstruction to the pilot's view.

The eight-cylinder Mercedes-Daimler engine, used for airship propulsion during the War, developed 240 brake horse-power at 1,100 revolutions per minute; the cylinder dimensions were 6.88 diameter by 6.5 stroke--one of the instances in which the short stroke in relation to bore was very noticeable.

Other instances of successful vertical design-the types already detailed are fully sufficient to give particulars of the type generally--are the Panhard, Chenu, Maybach, N.A.G., Argus, Mulag, and the well-known Austro-Daimler, which by 1917 was being copied in every combatant country. There are also the later Wright engines, and in America the Wisconsin six-cylinder vertical, weighing well under 4 lbs. per horse-power, is evidence of the progress made with this first type of aero engine to develop.


An offshoot from the vertical type, doubling the power of this with only a very slight--if any--increase in the length of crankshaft, the Vee or diagonal type of aero engine leaped to success through the insistent demand for greater power. Although the design came after that of the vertical engine, by 1910, according to Critchley's list of aero engines, there were more Vee type engines being made than any other type, twenty-five sizes being given in the list, with an average rating of 57.4 brake horse-power.

The arrangement of the cylinders in Vee form over the crankshaft, enabling the pistons of each pair of opposite cylinders to act upon the same crank pin, permits of a very short, compact engine being built, and also permits of reduction of the weight per horsepower, comparing this with that of the vertical type of engine, with one row of cylinders. Further, at the introduction of this type of engine it was seen that crankshaft vibration, an evil of the early vertical engines, was practically eliminated, as was the want of longitudinal stiffness that characterised the higher-powered vertical engines.

Of the Vee type engines shown in Critchley's list in 1910 nineteen different sizes were constructed with eight cylinders, and with horse-powers ranging from thirty to just over the hundred; the lightest of these weighed 2.9 lbs. per horse-power--a considerable advance in design on the average vertical engine, in this respect of weight per horse-power. There were also two sixteen-cylinder engines of Vee design, the larger of which developed 134 horse-power with a weight of only 2 lbs. per brake horse-power. Subsequent developments have indicated that this type, with the further development from it of the double-Vee, or engine with three rows of cylinders, is likely to become the standard design of aero engine where high powers are required. The construction permits of placing every part so that it is easy of access, and the form of the engine implies very little head resistance, while it can be placed on the machine--supposing that machine to be of the single-engine type--in such a way that the view of the pilot is very little obstructed while in flight.

An even torque, or great uniformity of rotation, is transmitted to the air-screw by these engines, while the design also permits of such good balance of the engine itself that vibration is practically eliminated. The angle between the two rows of cylinders is varied according to the number of cylinders, in order to give working impulses at equal angles of rotation and thus provide even torque; this angle is determined by dividing the number of degrees in a circle by the number of cylinders in either row of the engine. In an eight-cylindered Vee type engine, the angle between the cylinders is 90 degrees; if it is a twelve-cylindered engine, the angle drops to 60 degrees.

One of the earliest of the British-built Vee type engines was an eight-cylinder 50 horse-power by the Wolseley Company, constructed in 1908 with a cylinder bore of 3.75 inches and stroke of 5 inches, running at a normal speed of 1,350 revolutions per minute. With this engine, a gearing was introduced to enable the propeller to run at a lower speed than that of the engine, the slight loss of efficiency caused by the friction of the gearing being compensated by the slower speed of the air-screw, which had higher efficiency than would have been the case if it had been run at the engine speed. The ratio of the gearing--that is, the speed of the air-screw relatively to that of the engine, could be chosen so as to suit exactly the requirements of the air-screw, and the gearing itself, on this engine, was accomplished on the half-speed shaft actuating the valves.

Very soon after this first design had been tried out, a second Vee type engine was produced which, at 1,200 revolutions per minute, developed 60 horse-power; the size of this engine was practically identical with that of its forerunner, the only exception being an increase of half an inch in the cylinder stroke--a very long stroke of piston in relation to the bore of the cylinder. In the first of these two engines, which was designed for airship propulsion, the weight had been about 8 lbs. per brake horse-power, no special attempt appearing to have been made to fine down for extreme lightness; in this 60 horse-power design, the weight was reduced to 6.1 lbs. per horse-power, counting the latter as normally rated; the engine actually gave a maximum of 75 brake horse-power, reducing the ratio of weight to power very considerably below the figure given.

The accompanying diagram illustrates a later Wolseley model, end elevation, the eight-cylindered 120 horse-power Vee type aero engine of the early war period. With this engine, each crank pin has two connecting rods bearing on it, these being placed side by side and connected to the pistons of opposite cylinders and the two cylinders of the pair are staggered by an amount equal to the width of the connecting rod bearing, to afford accommodation for the rods. The crankshaft was a nickel chrome steel forging, machined hollow, with four crank pins set at 180 degrees to each other, and carried in three bearings lined with anti-friction metal. The connecting rods were made of tubular nickel chrome steel, and the pistons of drawn steel, each being fitted with four piston rings. Of these the two rings nearest to the piston head were of the ordinary cast-iron type, while the others were of phosphor bronze, so arranged as to take the side thrust of the piston. The cylinders were of steel, arranged in two groups or rows of four, the angular distance between them being 90 degrees. In the space above the crankshaft, between the cylinder rows, was placed the valve-operating mechanism, together with the carburettor and ignition system, thus rendering this a very compact and accessible engine. The combustion heads of the cylinders were made of cast-iron, screwed into the steel cylinder barrels; the water-jacket was of spun aluminium, with one end fitting over the combustion head and the other free to slide on the cylinder; the water-joint at the lower end was made tight by a Dermatine ring carried between small flanges formed on the cylinder barrel. Overhead valves were adopted, and in order to make these as large as possible the combustion chamber was made slightly larger in diameter than the cylinder, and the valves set at an angle. Dual ignition was fitted in each cylinder, coil and accumulator being used for starting and as a reserve in case of failure of the high-tension magneto system fitted for normal running. There was a double set of lubricating pumps, ensuring continuity of the oil supply to all the bearings of the engine.

The feature most noteworthy in connection with the running of this type of engine was its flexibility; the normal output of power was obtained with 1,150 revolutions per minute of the crankshaft, but, by accelerating up to 1,400 revolutions, a maximum of 147 brake horse-power could be obtained. The weight was about 5 lbs. per horse-power, the cylinder dimensions being 5 inches bore by 7 inches stroke. Economy in running was obtained, the fuel consumption being 0.58 pint per brake horse-power per hour at full load, with an expenditure of about 0.075 pint of lubricating oil per brake horse-power per hour.

Another Wolseley Vee type that was standardised was a 90 horse-power eight-cylinder engine running at 1,800 revolutions per minute, with a reducing gear introduced by fitting the air screw on the half-speed shaft. First made semi-cooled--the exhaust valve was left air-cooled, and then entirely water-jacketed--this engine demonstrated the advantage of full water cooling, for under the latter condition the same power was developed with cylinders a quarter of an inch less in diameter than in the semi-cooled pattern; at the same time the weight was brought down to 4 1/2 lbs. per horsepower.

A different but equally efficient type of Vee design was the Dorman engine, of which an end elevation is shown; this developed 80 brake horse-power at a speed of 1,300 revolutions per minute, with a cylinder bore of 5 inches; each cylinder was made in cast-iron in one piece with the combustion chamber, the barrel only being water-jacketed. Auxiliary exhaust ports were adopted, the holes through the cylinder wall being uncovered by the piston at the bottom of its stroke--the piston, 4.75 inches in length, was longer than its stroke, so that these ports were covered when it was at the top of the cylinder. The exhaust discharged through the ports into a belt surrounding the cylinder, the belts on the cylinders being connected so that the exhaust gases were taken through a single pipe. The air was drawn through the crank case, before reaching the carburettor, this having the effect of cooling the oil in the crank case as well as warming the air and thus assisting in vaporising the petrol for each charge of the cylinders. The inlet and exhaust valves were of the overhead type, as may be gathered from the diagram, and in spite of cast-iron cylinders being employed a light design was obtained, the total weight with radiator, piping, and water being only 5.5 lbs. per horse-power.

Here was the antithesis of the Wolseley type in the matter of bore in relation to stroke; from about 1907 up to the beginning of the war, and even later, there was controversy as to which type--that in which the bore exceeded the stroke, or vice versa--gave greater efficiency. The short-stroke enthusiasts pointed to the high piston speed of the long-stroke type, while those who favoured the latter design contended that full power could not be obtained from each explosion in the short-stroke type of cylinder. It is now generally conceded that the long-stroke engine yields higher efficiency, and in addition to this, so far as car engines are concerned, the method of rating horse-power in relation to bore without taking stroke into account has given the long-stroke engine an advantage, actual horse-power with a long stroke engine being in excess of the nominal rating. This may have had some influence on aero engine design, but, however this may have been, the long-stroke engine has gradually come to favour, and its rival has taken second place.

For some time pride of place among British Vee type engines was held by the Sunbeam Company, which, owing to the genius of Louis Coatalen, together with the very high standard of construction maintained by the firm, achieved records and fame in the middle and later periods of the war. Their 225 horse-power twelve-cylinder engine ran at a normal speed of 2,000 revolutions per minute; the air screw was driven through gearing at half this speed, its shaft being separate from the timing gear and carried in ball-bearings on the nose-piece of the engine. The cylinders were of cast-iron, entirely water-cooled; a thin casing formed the water-jacket, and a very light design was obtained, the weight being only 3.2 lbs. per horse-power. The first engine of Sunbeam design had eight cylinders and developed 150 horse-power at 2,000 revolutions per minute; the final type of Vee design produced during the war was twelve-cylindered, and yielded 310 horse-power with cylinders 4.3 inches bore by 6.4 inches stroke. Evidence in favour of the long-stroke engine is afforded in this type as regards economy of working; under full load, working at 2,000 revolutions per minute, the consumption was 0.55 pints of fuel per brake horse-power per hour, which seems to indicate that the long stroke permitted of full use being made of the power resulting from each explosion, in spite of the high rate of speed of the piston.

Developing from the Vee type, the eighteen-cylinder 475 brake horse-power engine, designed during the war, represented for a time the limit of power obtainable from a single plant. It was water-cooled throughout, and the ignition to each cylinder was duplicated; this engine proved fully efficient, and economical in fuel consumption. It was largely used for seaplane work, where reliability was fully as necessary as high power.

The abnormal needs of the war period brought many British firms into the ranks of Vee-type engine-builders, and, apart from those mentioned, the most notable types produced are the Rolls-Royce and the Napier. The first mentioned of these firms, previous to 1914 had concentrated entirely on car engines, and their very high standard of production in this department of internal combustion engine work led, once they took up the making of aero engines, to extreme efficiency both of design and workmanship. The first experimental aero engine, of what became known as the 'Eagle' type, was of Vee design--it was completed in March of 1915--and was so successful that it was standardised for quantity production. How far the original was from the perfection subsequently ascertained is shown by the steady increase in developed horse-power of the type; originally designed to develop 200 horse-power, it was developed and improved before its first practical trial in October of 1915, when it developed 255 horsepower on a brake test. Research and experiment produced still further improvements, for, without any enlargement of the dimensions, or radical alteration in design, the power of the engine was brought up to 266 horse-power by March of 1916, the rate of revolutions of 1,800 per minute being maintained throughout. July, 1916 gave 284 horse-power; by the cud of the year this had been increased to 322 horse-power; by September of 1917 the increase was to 350 horse-power, and by February of 1918 then 'Eagle' type of engine was rated at 360 horse-power, at which standard it stayed. But there is no more remarkable development in engine design than this, a 75 per cent increase of power in the same engine in a period of less than three years.

To meet the demand for a smaller type of engine for use on training machines, the Rolls-Royce firm produced the 'Hawk' Vee-type engine of 100 horsepower, and, intermediately between this and the 'Eagle,' the 'Falcon' engine came to being with an original rated horse-power of 205 at 1,800 revolutions per minute, in April of 1916. Here was another case of growth of power in the same engine through research, almost similar to that of the 'Eagle' type, for by July of 1918 the 'Falcon' was developing 285 horse-power with no radical alteration of design. Finally, in response to the constant demand for increase of power in a single plant, the Rolls-Royce company designed and produced the 'Condor' type of engine, which yielded 600 horse-power on its first test in August of 1918. The cessation of hostilities and consequent falling off in the demand for extremely high-powered plants prevented the 'Condor' being developed to its limit, as had been the 'Falcon' and 'Eagle' types.

The 'Eagle 'engine was fitted to the two Handley-Page aeroplanes--which made flights from England to India--it was virtually standard on the Handley-Page bombers of the later War period, though to a certain extent the American 'Liberty' engine was also used. Its chief record, however, is that of being the type fitted to the Vickers-Vimy aeroplane which made the first Atlantic flight, covering the distance of 1,880 miles at a speed averaging 117 miles an hour.

The Napier Company specialised on one type of engine from the outset, a power plant which became known as the 'Lion' engine, giving 450 horse-power with twelve cylinders arranged in three rows of four each. Considering the engine as 'dry,' or without fuel and accessories, an abnormally light weight per horse-power--only 1.89 lbs.--was attained when running at the normal rate of revolution. The cylinders and water-jackets are of steel, and there is fitted a detachable aluminium cylinder head containing inlet and exhaust valves and valve actuating mechanism; pistons are of aluminium alloy, and there are two inlet and two exhaust valves to each cylinder, the whole of the valve mechanism being enclosed in an oil-tight aluminium case. Connecting rods and crankshaft are of steel, the latter being machined from a solid steel forging and carried in five roller bearings and one plain bearing at the forward end. The front end of the crank-case encloses reduction gear for the propeller shaft, together with the shaft and bearings. There are two suction and one pressure type oil pumps driven through gears at half-engine speed, and two 12 spark magnetos, giving 2 sparks in each cylinder.

The cylinders are set with the central row vertical, and the two side rows at angles of 60 degrees each; cylinder bore is 5 1/2 inches, and stroke 5 1/8 inches; the normal rate of revolution is 1,350 per minute, and the reducing gear gives one revolution of the propeller shaft to 1.52 revolutions of crankshaft. Fuel consumption is 0.48lbs. of fuel per brake horse-power hour at full load, and oil consumption is 0.020 lbs. per brake horsepower hour. The dry weight of the engine, complete with propeller boss, carburettors, and induction pipes, is 850 lbs., and the gross weight in running order, with fuel and oil for six hours working, is 2,671 lbs., exclusive of cooling water.

To this engine belongs an altitude record of 30,500 feet, made at Martlesham, near Ipswich, on January 2nd, 1919, by Captain Lang, R.A.F., the climb being accomplished in 66 minutes 15 seconds. Previous to this, the altitude record was held by an Italian pilot, who made 25,800 feet in an hour and 57 minutes in 1916. Lang's climb was stopped through the pressure of air, at the altitude he reached, being insufficient for driving the small propellers on the machine which worked the petrol and oil pumps, or he might have made the height said to have been attained by Major Schroeder on February 27th, 1920, at Dayton, Ohio. Schroeder is said to have reached an altitude of 36,020 feet on a Napier biplane, and, owing to failure of the oxygen supply, to have lost consciousness, fallen five miles, righted his machine when 2,000 feet in the air, and alighted successfully. Major Schroeder is an American.

Turning back a little, and considering other than British design of Vee and double-Vee or 'Broad arrow' type of engine, the Renault firm from the earliest days devoted considerable attention to the development of this type, their air-cooled engines having been notable examples from the earliest days of heavier-than-air machines. In 1910 they were making three sizes of eight-cylindered Vee-type engines, and by 1915 they had increased to the manufacture of five sizes, ranging from 25 to 100 brake horse-power, the largest of the five sizes having twelve cylinders but still retaining the air-cooled principle. The De Dion firm, also, made Vee-type engines in 1914, being represented by an 80 horse-power eight-cylindered engine, air-cooled, and a 150 horse-power, also of eight cylinders, water-cooled, running at a normal rate of 1,600 revolutions per minute. Another notable example of French construction was the Panhard and Levassor 100 horse-power eight-cylinder Vee engine, developing its rated power at 1,500 revolutions per minute, and having the--for that time--low weight of 4.4 lbs. per horse-power.

American Vee design has followed the British fairly cclosely; the Curtiss Company produced originally a 75 horse-power eight-cylinder Vee type running at 1,200 revolutions per minute, supplementing this with a 170 horse-power engine running at 1,600 revolutions per minute, and later with a twelve-cylinder model Vee type, developing 300 horse-power at 1,500 revolutions per minute, with cylinder bore of 5 inches and stroke of 7 inches. An exceptional type of American design was the Kemp Vee engine of 80 horse-power in which the cylinders were cooled by a current of air obtained from a fan at the forward end of the engine. With cylinders of 4.25 inches bore and 4.75 inches stroke, the rater power was developed at 1,150 revolutions per minute, and with the engine complete the weight was only 4.75 lbs. per horse-power.


The very first successful design of internal combustion aero engine made was that of Charles Manly, who built a five-cylinder radial engine in 1901 for use with Langley's 'aerodrome,' as the latter inventor decided to call what has since become known as the aeroplane. Manly made a number of experiments, and finally decided on radial design, in which the cylinders are so rayed round a central crank-pin that the pistons act successively upon it; by this arrangement a very short and compact engine is obtained, with a minimum of weight, and a regular crankshaft rotation and perfect balance of inertia forces.

When Manly designed his radial engine, high speed internal combustion engines were in their infancy, and the difficulties in construction can be partly realised when the lack of manufacturing methods for this high-class engine work, and the lack of experimental data on the various materials, are taken into account. During its tests, Manly's engine developed 52.4 brake horsepower at a speed of 950 revolutions per minute, with the remarkably low weight of only 2.4 lbs. per horsepower; this latter was increased to 3.6 lbs. when the engine was completed by the addition of ignition system, radiator, petrol tank, and all accessories, together with the cooling water for the cylinders.

In Manly's engine, the cylinders were of steel, machined outside and inside to 1/16 of an inch thickness; on the side of cylinder, at the top end, the valve chamber was brazed, being machined from a solid forging, The casing which formed the water-jacket was of sheet steel, 1/50 of an inch in thickness, and this also was brazed on the cylinder and to the valve chamber. Automatic inlet valves were fitted, and the exhaust valves were operated by a cam which had two points, 180 degrees apart; the cam was rotated in the opposite direction to the engine at one-quarter engine speed. Ignition was obtained by using a one-spark coil and vibrator for all cylinders, with a distributor to select the right cylinder for each spark--this was before the days of the high-tension magneto and the almost perfect ignition systems that makers now employ. The scheme of ignition for this engine was originated by Manly himself, and he also designed the sparking plugs fitted in the tops of the cylinders. Through fear of trouble resulting if the steel pistons worked on the steel cylinders, cast iron liners were introduced in the latter, 1/16 of an inch thick.

The connecting rods of this engine were of virtually the same type as is employed on nearly all modern radial engines. The rod for one cylinder had a bearing along the whole of the crank pin, and its end enclosed the pin; the other four rods had bearings upon the end of the first rod, and did not touch the crank pin. The accompanying diagram shows this construction, together with the means employed for securing the ends of the four rods--the collars were placed in position after the rods had been put on. The bearings of these rods did not receive any of the rubbing effect due to the rotation of the crank pin, the rubbing on them being only that of the small angular displacement of the rods during each revolution; thus there was no difficulty experienced with the lubrication.

Another early example of the radial type of engine was the French Anzani, of which type one was fitted to the machine with which Bleriot first crossed the English Channel--this was of 25 horse-power. The earliest Anzani engines were of the three-cylinder fan type, one cylinder being vertical, and the other two placed at an angle of 72 degrees on each side, as the possibility of over-lubrication of the bottom cylinders was feared if a regular radial construction were adopted. In order to overcome the unequal balance of this type, balance weights were fitted inside the crank case.

The final development of this three-cylinder radial was the 'Y' type of engine, in which the cylinders were regularly disposed at 120 degrees apart, the bore was 4.1, stroke 4.7 inches, and the power developed was 30 brake horse-power at 1,300 revolutions per minute.

Critchley's list of aero engines being constructed in 1910 shows twelve of the radial type, with powers of between 14 and 100 horse-power, and with from three to ten cylinder--this last is probably the greatest number of cylinders that can be successfully arranged in circular form. Of the twelve types of 1910, only two were water-cooled, and it is to be noted that these two ran at the slowest speeds and had the lowest weight per horse-power of any.

The Anzani radial was considerably developed special attention being paid to this type by its makers and by 1914 the Anzani list comprised seven different sizes of air-cooled radials. Of these the largest had twenty cylinders, developing 200 brake horse-power--it was virtually a double radial--and the smallest was the original 30 horse-power three-cylinder design. A six-cylinder model was formed by a combination of two groups of three cylinders each, acting upon a double-throw crankshaft; the two crank pins were set at 180 degrees to each other, and the cylinder groups were staggered by an amount equal to the distance between the centres of the crank pins. Ten-cylinder radial engines are made with two groups of five cylinders acting upon two crank pins set at 180 degrees to each other, the largest Anzani 'ten' developed 125 horsepower at 1,200 revolutions per minute, the ten cylinders being each 4.5 inches in bore with stroke of 5.9 inches, and the weight of the engine being 3.7 lbs. per horse-power. In the 200 horse-power Anzani radial the cylinders are arranged in four groups of five each, acting on two crank pins. The bore of the cylinders in this engine is the same as in the three-cylinder, but the stroke is increased to 5.5 inches. The rated power is developed at 1,300 revolutions per minute, and the engine complete weighs 3.4 lbs. per horse-power.

With this 200 horse-power Anzani, a petrol consumption of as low as 0.49 lbs. of fuel per brake horse-power per hour has been obtained, but the consumption of lubricating oil is compensatingly high, being up to one-fifth of the fuel used. The cylinders are set desaxe with the crank shaft, and are of cast-iron, provided with radiating ribs for air-cooling; they are attached to the crank case by long bolts passing through bosses at the top of the cylinders, and connected to other bolts at right angles through the crank case. The tops of the cylinders are formed flat, and seats for the inlet and exhaust valves are formed on them. The pistons are cast-iron, fitted with ordinary cast-iron spring rings. An aluminium crank case is used, being made in two halves connected together by bolts, which latter also attach the engine to the frame of the machine. The crankshaft is of nickel steel, made hollow, and mounted on ball-bearings in such a manner that practically a combination of ball and plain bearings is obtained; the central web of the shaft is bent to bring the centres of the crank pins as close together as possible, leaving only room for the connecting rods, and the pins are 180 degrees apart. Nickel steel valves of the cone-seated, poppet type are fitted, the inlet valves being automatic, and those for the exhaust cam-operated by means of push-rods. With an engine having such a number of cylinders a very uniform rotation of the crankshaft is obtained, and in actual running there are always five of the cylinders giving impulses to the crankshaft at the same time.

An interesting type of pioneer radial engine was the Farcot, in which the cylinders were arranged in a horizontal plane, with a vertical crankshaft which operated the air-screw through bevel gearing. This was an eight-cylinder engine, developing 64 horse-power at 1,200 revolutions per minute. The R.E.P. type,in the early days, was a 'fan' engine, but the designer, M. Robert Pelterie, turned from this design to a seven-cylinder radial, which at 1,100 revolutions per minute gave 95 horse-power. Several makers entered into radial engine development in the years immediately preceding the War, and in 1914 there were some twenty-two different sizes and types, ranging from 30 to 600 horse-power, being made, according to report; the actual construction of the latter size at this time, however, is doubtful.

Probably the best example of radial construction up to the outbreak of War was the Salmson (Canton-Unne) water-cooled, of which in 1914 six sizes were listed as available. Of these the smallest was a seven-cylinder 90 horse-power engine, and the largest, rated at 600 horse-power, had eighteen cylinders. These engines, during the War, were made under license by the Dudbridge Ironworks in Great Britain.

The accompanying diagram shows the construction of the cylinders in the 200 horse-power size, showing the method of cooling, and the arrangement of the connecting rods. A patent planetary gear, also shown in the diagram, gives exactly the same stroke to all the pistons. The complete engine has fourteen cylinders, of forged steel machined all over, and so secured to the crank case that any one can be removed without parting the crank case. The water-jackets are of spun copper, brazed on to the cylinder, and corrugated so as to admit of free expansion; the water is circulated by means of a centrifugal pump. The pistons are of cast-iron, each fitted with three rings, and the connecting rods are of high grade steel, machined all over and fitted with bushes of phosphor bronze; these rods are connected to a central collar, carried on the crank pin by two ball-bearings. The crankshaft has a single throw, and is made in two parts to allow the cage for carrying the big end-pins of the connecting rods to be placed in position.

The casing is in two parts, on one of which the brackets for fixing the engine are carried, while the other part carries the valve-gear. Bolts secure the two parts together. The mechanically-operated steel valves on the cylinders are each fitted with double springs and the valves are operated by rods and levers. Two Zenith carburettors are fitted on the rear half of the crank case, and short induction pipes are led to each cylinder; each of the carburettors is heated by the exhaust gases. Ignition is by two high-tension magnetos, and a compressed air self-starting arrangement is provided. Two oil pumps are fitted for lubricating purposes, one of which forces oil to the crankshaft and connecting-rod bearings, while the second forces oil to the valve gear, the cylinders being so arranged that the oil which flows along the walls cannot flood the lower cylinders. This engine operates upon a six-stroke cycle, a rather rare arrangement for internal combustion engines of the electrical ignition type; this is done in order to obtain equal angular intervals for the working impulses imparted to the rotating crankshaft, as the cylinders are arranged in groups of seven, and all act upon the one crankshaft. The angle, therefore, between the impulses is 77 1/7 degrees. A diagram is inset giving a side view of the engine, in order to show the grouping of the cylinders.

The 600 horse-power Salmson engine was designed with a view to fitting to airships, and was in reality two nine-cylindered engines, with a gear-box connecting them; double air-screws were fitted, and these were so arranged that either or both of them might be driven by either or both engines; in addition to this, the two engines were complete and separate engines as regards carburation and ignition, etc., so that they could be run independently of each other. The cylinders were exceptionally 'long stroke,' being 5.9 inches bore to 8.27 inches stroke, and the rated power was developed at 1,200 revolutions per minute, the weight of the complete engine being only 4.1 lbs. per horse-power at the normal rating.

A type of engine specially devised for airship propulsion is that in which the cylinders are arranged horizontally instead of vertically, the main advantages of this form being the reduction of head resistance and less obstruction to the view of the pilot. A casing, mounted on the top of the engine, supports the air-screw, which is driven through bevel gearing from the upper end of the crankshaft. With this type of engine a better rate of air-screw efficiency is obtained by gearing the screw down to half the rate of revolution of the engine, this giving a more even torque. The petrol consumption of the type is very low, being only 0.48 lbs. per horse-power per hour, and equal economy is claimed as regards lubricating oil, a consumption of as little as 0.04 lbs. per horse-power per hour being claimed.

Certain American radial engines were made previous to 1914, the principal being the Albatross six-cylinder engines of 50 and 100 horse-powers. Of these the smaller size was air-cooled, with cylinders of 4.5 inches bore and 5 inches stroke, developing the rated power at 1,230 revolutions per minute, with a weight of about 5 lbs. per horse-power. The 100 horse-power size had cylinders of 5.5 inches bore, developing its rated power at 1,230 revolutions per minute, and weighing only 2.75 lbs. per horse-power. This engine was markedly similar to the six-cylindered Anzani, having all the valves mechanically operated, and with auxiliary exhaust ports at the bottoms of the cylinders, overrun by long pistons. These Albatross engines had their cylinders arranged in two groups of three, with each group of three pistons operating on one of two crank pins, each 180 degrees apart.

The radial type of engine, thanks to Charles Manly, had the honour of being first in the field as regards aero work. Its many advantages, among which may be specially noted the very short crankshaft as compared with vertical, Vee, or 'broad arrow' type of engine, and consequent greater rigidity, ensure it consideration by designers of to-day, and render it certain that the type will endure. Enthusiasts claim that the 'broad arrow' type, or Vee with a third row of cylinders inset between the original two, is just as much a development from the radial engine as from the vertical and resulting Vee; however this may be, there is a place for the radial type in air-work for as long as the internal combustion engine remains as a power plant.


M. Laurent Seguin, the inventor of the Gnome rotary aero engine, provided as great a stimulus to aviation as any that was given anterior to the war period, and brought about a great advance in mechanical flight, since these well-made engines gave a high-power output for their weight, and were extremely smooth in running. In the rotary design the crankshaft of the engine is stationary, and the cylinders, crank case, and all their adherent parts rotate; the working is thus exactly opposite in principle to that of the radial type of aero engine, and the advantage of the rotary lies in the considerable flywheel effect produced by the revolving cylinders, with consequent evenness of torque. Another advantage is that air-cooling, adopted in all the Gnome engines, is rendered much more effective by the rotation of the cylinders, though there is a tendency to distortion through the leading side of each cylinder being more efficiently cooled than the opposite side; advocates of other types are prone to claim that the air resistance to the revolving cylinders absorbs some 10 per cent of the power developed by the rotary engine, but that has not prevented the rotary from attaining to great popularity as a prime mover.

There were, in the list of aero engines compiled in 1910, five rotary engines included, all air-cooled. Three of these were Gnome engines, and two of the make known as 'International.' They ranged from 21.5 to 123 horse-power, the latter being rated at only 1.8 lbs. weight per brake horse-power, and having fourteen cylinders, 4.33 inches in diameter by 4.7 inches stroke. By 1914 forty-three different sizes and types of rotary engine were being constructed, and in 1913 five rotary type engines were entered for the series of aeroplane engine trials held in Germany. Minor defects ruled out four of these, and only the German Bayerischer Motoren Flugzeugwerke completed the seven-hour test prescribed for competing engines. Its large fuel consumption barred this engine from the final trials, the consumption being some 0.95 pints per horse-power per hour. The consumption of lubricating oil, also was excessive, standing at 0.123 pint per horse-power per hour. The engine gave 37.5 effective horse-power during its trial, and the loss due to air resistance was 4.6 horse-power, about 11 per cent. The accompanying drawing shows the construction of the engine, in which the seven cylinders are arranged radially on the crank case; the method of connecting the pistons to the crank pins can be seen. The mixture is drawn through the crank chamber, and to enter the cylinder it passes through the two automatic valves in the crown of the piston; the exhaust valves are situated in the tops of the cylinders, and are actuated by cams and push-rods. Cooling of the cylinder is assisted by the radial rings, and the diameter of these rings is increased round the hottest part of the cylinder. When long flights are undertaken the advantage of the light weight of this engine is more than counterbalanced by its high fuel and lubricating oil consumption, but there are other makes which are much better than this seven-cylinder German in respect of this.

Rotation of the cylinders in engines of this type is produced by the side pressure of the pistons on the cylinder walls, and in order to prevent this pressure from becoming abnormally large it is necessary to keep the weight of the piston as low as possible, as the pressure is produced by the tangential acceleration and retardation of the piston. On the upward stroke the circumferential velocity of the piston is rapidly increased, which causes it to exert a considerable tangential pressure on the side of the cylinder, and on the return stroke there is a corresponding retarding effect due to the reduction of the circumferential velocity of the piston. These side pressures cause an appreciable increase in the temperatures of the cylinders and pistons, which makes it necessary to keep the power rating of the engines fairly low.

Seguin designed his first Gnome rotary as a 34 horse-power engine when run at a speed of 1,300 revolutions per minute. It had five cylinders, and the weight was 3.9 lbs. per horse-power. A seven-cylinder model soon displaced this first engine, and this latter, with a total weight of 165 lbs., gave 61.5 horse-power. The cylinders were machined out of solid nickel chrome-steel ingots, and the machining was carried out so that the cylinder walls were under 1/6 of an inch in thickness. The pistons were cast-iron, fitted each with two rings, and the automatic inlet valve to the cylinder was placed in the crown of the piston. The connecting rods, of 'H' section, were of nickel chrome-steel, and the large end of one rod, known as the 'master-rod' embraced the crank pin; on the end of this rod six hollow steel pins were carried, and to these the remaining six connecting-rods were attached. The crankshaft of the engine was made of nickel chrome-steel, and was in two parts connected together at the crank pin; these two parts, after the master-rod had been placed in position and the other connecting rods had been attached to it, were firmly secured. The steel crank case was made in five parts, the two central ones holding the cylinders in place, and on one side another of the five castings formed a cam-box, to the outside of which was secured the extension to which the air-screw was attached. On the other side of the crank case another casting carried the thrust-box, and the whole crank case, with its cylinders and gear, was carried on the fixed crank shaft by means of four ball-bearings, one of which also took the axial thrust of the air-screw.

For these engines, castor oil is the lubricant usually adopted, and it is pumped to the crankshaft by means of a gear-driven oil pump; from this shaft the other parts of the engine are lubricated by means of centrifugal force, and in actual practice sufficient unburnt oil passes through the cylinders to lubricate the exhaust valve, which partly accounts for the high rate of consumption of lubricating oil. A very simple carburettor of the float less, single-spray type was used, and the mixture was passed along the hollow crankshaft to the interior of the crank case, thence through the automatic inlet valves in the tops of the pistons to the combustion chambers of the cylinders. Ignition was by means of a high-tension magneto specially geared to give the correct timing, and the working impulses occurred at equal angular intervals of 102.85 degrees. The ignition was timed so that the firing spark occurred when the cylinder was 26 degrees before the position in which the piston was at the outer end of its stroke, and this timing gave a maximum pressure in the cylinder just after the piston had passed this position.

By 1913, eight different sizes of the Gnome engine were being constructed, ranging from 45 to 180 brake horse-power; four of these were single-crank engines one having nine and the other three having seven cylinders. The remaining four were constructed with two cranks; three of them had fourteen cylinders apiece, ranged in groups of seven, acting on the cranks, and the one other had eighteen cylinders ranged in two groups of nine, acting on its two cranks. Cylinders of the two-crank engines are so arranged (in the fourteen-cylinder type) that fourteen equal angular impulses occur during each cycle; these engines are supported on bearings on both sides of the engine, the air-screw being placed outside the front support. In the eighteen-cylinder model the impulses occur at each 40 degrees of angular rotation of the cylinders, securing an extremely even rotation of the air-screw.

In 1913 the Gnome Monosoupape engine was introduced, a model in which the inlet valve to the cylinder was omitted, while the piston was of the ordinary cast-iron type. A single exhaust valve in the cylinder head was operated in a manner similar to that on the previous Gnome engines, and the fact of this being the only valve on the cylinder gave the engine its name. Each cylinder contained ports at the bottom which communicated with the crank chamber, and were overrun by the piston when this was approaching the bottom end of its stroke. During the working cycle of the engine the exhaust valve was opened early to allow the exhaust gases to escape from the cylinder, so that by the time the piston overran the ports at the bottom the pressure within the cylinder was approximately equal to that in the crank case, and practically no flow of gas took place in either direction through the ports. The exhaust valve remained open as usual during the succeeding up-stroke of the piston, and the valve was held open until the piston had returned through about one-third of its downward stroke, thus permitting fresh air to enter the cylinder. The exhaust valve then closed, and the downward motion of the piston, continuing, caused a partial vacuum inside the cylinder; when the piston overran the ports, the rich mixture from the crank case immediately entered. The cylinder was then full of the mixture, and the next upward stroke of the piston compressed the charge; upon ignition the working cycle was repeated. The speed variation of this engine was obtained by varying the extent and duration of the opening of the exhaust valves, and was controlled by the pilot by hand-operated levers acting on the valve tappet rollers. The weight per horsepower of these engines was slightly less than that of the two-valve type, while the lubrication of the gudgeon pin and piston showed an improvement, so that a lower lubricating oil consumption was obtained. The 100 horse-power Gnome Monosoupape was built with nine cylinders, each 4.33 inches bore by 5.9 inches stroke, and it developed its rated power at 1,200 revolutions per minute.

An engine of the rotary type, almost as well known as the Gnome, is the Clerget, in which both cylinders and crank case are made of steel, the former having the usual radial fins for cooling. In this type the inlet and exhaust valves are both located in the cylinder head, and mechanically operated by push-rods and rockers. Pipes are carried from the crank case to the inlet valve casings to convey the mixture to the cylinders, a carburettor of the central needle type being used. The carburetted mixture is taken into the crank case chamber in a manner similar to that of the Gnome engine. Pistons of aluminium alloy, with three cast-iron rings, are fitted, the top ring being of the obturator type. The large end of one of the nine connecting rods embraces the crank pin and the pressure is taken on two ball-bearings housed in the end of the rod. This carries eight pins, to which the other rods are attached, and the main rod being rigid between the crank pin and piston pin determines the position of the pistons. Hollow connecting-rods are used, and the lubricating oil for the piston pins passes from the crankshaft through the centres of the rods. Inlet and exhaust valves can be set quite independently of one another--a useful point, since the correct timing of the opening of these valves is of importance. The inlet valve opens 4 degrees from top centre and closes after the bottom dead centre of the piston; the exhaust valve opens 68 degrees before the bottom centre and closes 4 degrees after the top dead centre of the piston. The magnetos are set to give the spark in the cylinder at 25 degrees before the end of the compression stroke--two high-tension magnetos are used: if desired, the second one can be adjusted to give a later spark for assisting the starting of the engine. The lubricating oil pump is of the valveless two-plunger type, so geared that it runs at seven revolutions to 100 revolutions of the engine; by counting the pulsations the speed of the engine can be quickly calculated by multiplying the pulsations by 100 and dividing by seven. In the 115 horse-power nine-cylinder Clerget the cylinders are 4.7 bore with a 6.3 inches stroke, and the rated power of the engine is obtained at 1,200 revolutions per minute. The petrol consumption is 0.75 pint per horse-power per hour.

A third rotary aero engine, equally well known with the foregoing two, is the Le Rhone, made in four different sizes with power outputs of from 50 to 160 horse-power; the two smaller sizes are single crank engines with seven and nine cylinders respectively, and the larger sizes are of double-crank design, being merely the two smaller sizes doubled--fourteen and eighteen-cylinder engines. The inlet and exhaust valves are located in the cylinder head, and both valves are mechanically operated by one push-rod and rocker, radial pipes from crank case to inlet valve casing taking the mixture to the cylinders. The exhaust valves are placed on the leading, or air-screw side, of the engine, in order to get the fullest possible cooling effect. The rated power of each type of engine is obtained at 1,200 revolutions per minute, and for all four sizes the cylinder bore is 4.13 inches, with a 5.5 inches piston stroke. Thin cast-iron liners are shrunk into the steel cylinders in order to reduce the amount of piston friction. Although the Le Rhone engines are constructed practically throughout of steel, the weight is only 2.9 lbs. per horse-power in the eighteen-cylinder type.

American enterprise in the construction of the rotary type is perhaps best illustrated in the 'Gyro 'engine; this was first constructed with inlet valves in the heads of the pistons, after the Gnome pattern, the exhaust valves being in the heads of the cylinders. The inlet valve in the crown of each piston was mechanically operated in a very ingenious manner by the oscillation of the connecting-rod. The Gyro-Duplex engine superseded this original design, and a small cross-section illustration of this is appended. It is constructed in seven and nine-cylinder sizes, with a power range of from 50 to 100 horse-power; with the largest size the low weight of 2.5 lbs.. per horse-power is reached. The design is of considerable interest to the internal combustion engineer, for it embodies a piston valve for controlling auxiliary exhaust ports, which also acts as the inlet valve to the cylinder. The piston uncovers the auxiliary ports when it reaches the bottom of its stroke, and at the end of the power stroke the piston is in such a position that the exhaust can escape over the top of it. The exhaust valve in the cylinder head is then opened by means of the push-rod and rocker, and is held open until the piston has completed its upward stroke and returned through more than half its subsequent return stroke. When the exhaust valve closes, the cylinder has a charge of fresh air, drawn in through the exhaust valve, and the further motion of the piston causes a partial vacuum; by the time the piston reaches bottom dead centre the piston-valve has moved up to give communication between the cylinder and the crank case, therefore the mixture is drawn into the cylinder. Both the piston valve and exhaust valve are operated by cams formed on the one casting, which rotates at seven-eighths engine speed for the seven-cylinder type, and nine-tenths engine speed for the nine-cylinder engines. Each of these cams has four or five points respectively, to suit the number of cylinders.

The steel cylinders are machined from solid forgings and provided with webs for air-cooling as shown. Cast-iron pistons are used, and are connected to the crankshaft in the same manner as with the Gnome and Le Rhone engines. Petrol is sprayed into the crank case by a small geared pump and the mixture is taken from there to the piston valves by radial pipes. Two separate pumps are used for lubrication, one forcing oil to the crank-pin bearing and the other spraying the cylinders.

Among other designs of rotary aero engines the E.J.C. is noteworthy, in that the cylinders and crank case of this engine rotate in opposite directions, and two air-screws are used, one being attached to the end of the crankshaft, and the other to the crank case. Another interesting type is the Burlat rotary, in which both the cylinders and crankshaft rotate in the same direction, the rotation of the crankshaft being twice that of the cylinders as regards speed. This engine is arranged to work on the four-stroke cycle with the crankshaft making four, and the cylinders two, revolutions per cycle.

It would appear that the rotary type of engine is capable of but little more improvement--save for such devices as these of the last two engines mentioned, there is little that Laurent Seguin has not already done in the Gnome type. The limitation of the rotary lies in its high fuel and lubricating oil consumption, which renders it unsuited for long-distance aero work; it was, in the war period, an admirable engine for such short runs as might be involved in patrol work 'over the lines,' and for similar purposes, but the watercooled Vee or even vertical, with its much lower fuel consumption, was and is to be preferred for distance work. The rotary air-cooled type has its uses, and for them it will probably remain among the range of current types for some time to come. Experience of matters aeronautical is sufficient to show, however, that prophecy in any direction is most unsafe.


Among the first internal combustion engines to be taken into use with aircraft were those of the horizontally-opposed four-stroke cycle type, and, in every case in which these engines were used, their excellent balance and extremely even torque rendered them ideal-until the tremendous increase in power requirements rendered the type too long and bulky for placing in the fuselage of an aeroplane. As power increased, there came a tendency toward placing cylinders radially round a central crankshaft, and, as in the case of the early Anzani, it may be said that the radial engine grew out of the horizontal opposed piston type. There were, in 1910--that is, in the early days of small power units, ten different sizes of the horizontally opposed engine listed for manufacture, but increase in power requirements practically ruled out the type for air work.

The Darracq firm were the leading makers of these engines in 1910; their smallest size was a 24 horsepower engine, with two cylinders each of 5.1 inches bore by 4.7 inches stroke. This engine developed its rated power at 1,500 revolutions per minute, and worked out at a weight of 5 lbs. per horse-power. With these engines the cranks are so placed that two regular impulses are given to the crankshaft for each cycle of working, an arrangement which permits of very even balancing of the inertia forces of the engine. The Darracq firm also made a four-cylindered horizontal opposed piston engine, in which two revolutions were given to the crankshaft per revolution, at equal angular intervals.

The Dutheil-Chambers was another engine of this type, and had the distinction of being the second largest constructed. At 1,000 revolutions per minute it developed 97 horse-power; its four cylinders were each of 4.93 inches bore by 11.8 inches stroke--an abnormally long stroke in comparison with the bore. The weight--which owing to the build of the engine and its length of stroke was bound to be rather high, actually amounted to 8.2 lbs. per horse-power. Water cooling was adopted, and the engine was, like the Darracq four-cylinder type, so arranged as to give two impulses per revolution at equal angular intervals of crankshaft rotation.

One of the first engines of this type to be constructed in England was the Alvaston, a water-cooled model which was made in 20, 30, and 50 brake horse-power sizes, the largest being a four-cylinder engine. All three sizes were constructed to run at 1,200 revolutions per minute. In this make the cylinders were secured to the crank case by means of four long tie bolts passing through bridge pieces arranged across the cylinder heads, thus relieving the cylinder walls of all longitudinal explosion stresses. These bridge pieces were formed from chrome vanadium steel and milled to an 'H' section, and the bearings for the valve-tappet were forged solid with them. Special attention was given to the machining of the interiors of the cylinders and the combustion heads, with the result that the exceptionally high compression of 95 lbs. per square inch was obtained, giving a very flexible engine. The cylinder heads were completely water-jacketed, and copper water-jackets were also fitted round the cylinders. The mechanically operated valves were actuated by specially shaped cams, and were so arranged that only two cams were required for the set of eight valves. The inlet valves at both ends of the engine were connected by a single feed-pipe to which the carburettor was attached, the induction piping being arranged above the engine in an easily accessible position. Auxiliary air ports were provided in the cylinder walls so that the pistons overran them at the end of their stroke. A single vertical shaft running in ball-bearings operated the valves and water circulating pump, being driven by spiral gearing from the crankshaft at half speed. In addition to the excellent balance obtained with this engine, the makers claimed with justice that the number of working parts was reduced to an absolute minimum.

In the two-cylinder Darracq, the steel cylinders were machined from solid, and auxiliary exhaust ports, overrun by the piston at the inner end of its stroke, were provided in the cylinder walls, consisting of a circular row of drilled holes--this arrangement was subsequently adopted on some of the Darracq racing car engines. The water jackets were of copper, soldered to the cylinder walls; both the inlet and exhaust valves were located in the cylinder heads, being operated by rockers and push-rods actuated by cams on the halftime shaft driven from one end of the crankshaft. Ignition was by means of a high-tension magneto, and long induction pipes connected the-ends of the cylinders to the carburettor, the latter being placed underneath the engine. Lubrication was effected by spraying oil into the crank case by means of a pump, and a second pump circulated the cooling water.

Another good example of this type of engine was the Eole, which had eight opposed pistons, each pair of which was actuated by a common combustion chamber at the centre of the engine, two crankshafts being placed at the outer ends of the engine. This reversal of the ordinary arrangement had two advantages; it simplified induction, and further obviated the need for cylinder heads, since the explosion drove at two piston heads instead of at one piston head and the top of the cylinder; against this, however, the engine had to be constructed strongly enough to withstand the longitudinal stresses due to the explosions, as the cranks are placed on the outer ends and the cylinders and crank-cases take the full force of each explosion. Each crankshaft drove a separate air-screw.

This pattern of engine was taken up by the Dutheil-Chambers firm in the pioneer days of aircraft, when the firm in question produced seven different sizes of horizontal engines. The Demoiselle monoplane used by Santos-Dumont in 1909 was fitted with a two-cylinder, horizontally-opposed Dutheil-Chambers engine, which developed 25 brake horse-power at a speed of 1,100 revolutions per minute, the cylinders being of 5 inches bore by 5.1 inches stroke, and the total weight of the engine being some 120 lbs. The crankshafts of these engines were usually fitted with steel flywheels in order to give a very even torque, the wheels being specially constructed with wire spokes. In all the Dutheil-Chambers engines water cooling was adopted, and the cylinders were attached to the crank cases by means of long bolts passing through the combustion heads.

For their earliest machines, the Clement-Bayard firm constructed horizontal engines of the opposed piston type. The best known of these was the 30 horse-power size, which had cylinders of 4.7 inches diameter by 5.1 inches stroke, and gave its rated power at 1,200 revolutions per minute. In this engine the steel cylinders were secured to the crank case by flanges, and radiating ribs were formed around the barrel to assist the air-cooling. Inlet and exhaust valves were actuated by push-rods and rockers actuated from the second motion shaft mounted above the crank case; this shaft also drove the high-tension magneto with which the engine was fitted. A ring of holes drilled round each cylinder constituted auxiliary ports which the piston uncovered at the inner end of its stroke, and these were of considerable assistance not only in expelling exhaust gases, but also in moderating the temperature of the cylinder and of the main exhaust valve fitted in the cylinder head. A water-cooled Clement-Bayard horizontal engine was also made, and in this the auxiliary exhaust ports were not embodied; except in this particular, the engine was very similar to the water-cooled Darracq.

The American Ashmusen horizontal engine, developing 100 horse-power, is probably the largest example of this type constructed. It was made with six cylinders arranged on each side of a common crank case, with long bolts passing through the cylinder heads to assist in holding them down. The induction piping and valve-operating gear were arranged below the engine, and the half-speed shaft carried the air-screw.

Messrs Palons and Beuse, Germans, constructed a light-weight, air-cooled, horizontally-opposed engine, two-cylindered. In this the cast-iron cylinders were made very thin, and were secured to the crank case by bolts passing through lugs cast on the outer ends of the cylinders; the crankshaft was made hollow, and holes were drilled through the webs of the connecting-rods in order to reduce the weight. The valves were fitted to the cylinder heads, the inlet valves being of the automatic type, while the exhaust valves were mechanically operated from the cam-shaft by means of rockers and push-rods. Two carburettors were fitted, to reduce the induction piping to a minimum; one was attached to each combustion chamber, and ignition was by the normal high-tension magneto driven from the halftime shaft.

There was also a Nieuport two-cylinder air-cooled horizontal engine, developing 35 horse-power when running at 1,300 revolutions per minute, and being built at a weight of 5.1 lbs. per horse-power. The cylinders were of 5.3 inches diameter by 5.9 inches stroke; the engine followed the lines of the Darracq and Dutheil-Chambers pretty closely, and thus calls for no special description.

The French Kolb-Danvin engine of the horizontal type, first constructed in 1905, was probably the first two-stroke cycle engine designed to be applied to the propulsion of aircraft; it never got beyond the experimental stage, although its trials gave very good results. Stepped pistons were adopted, and the charging pump at one end was used to scavenge the power cylinder at the other ends of the engine, the transfer ports being formed in the main casting. The openings of these ports were controlled at both ends by the pistons, and the location of the ports appears to have made it necessary to take the exhaust from the bottom of one cylinder and from the top of the other. The carburetted mixture was drawn into the scavenging cylinders, and the usual deflectors were cast on the piston heads to assist in the scavenging and to prevent the fresh gas from passing out of the exhaust ports.


Although it has been little used for aircraft propulsion, the possibilities of the two-stroke cycle engine render some study of it desirable in this brief review of the various types of internal combustion engine applicable both to aeroplanes and airships. Theoretically the two-stroke cycle engine--or as it is more commonly termed, the 'two-stroke,' is the ideal power producer; the doubling of impulses per revolution of the crankshaft should render it of very much more even torque than the four-stroke cycle types, while, theoretically, there should be a considerable saving of fuel, owing to the doubling of the number of power strokes per total of piston strokes. In practice, however, the inefficient scavenging of virtually every two-stroke cycle engine produced nullifies or more than nullifies its advantages over the four-stroke cycle engine; in many types, too, there is a waste of fuel gases through the exhaust ports, and much has yet to be done in the way of experiment and resulting design before the two-stroke cycle engine can be regarded as equally reliable, economical, and powerful with its elder brother.

The first commercially successful engine operating on the two-stroke cycle was invented by Mr Dugald Clerk, who in 1881 proved the design feasible. As is more or less generally understood, the exhaust gases of this engine are discharged from the cylinder during the time that the piston is passing the inner dead centre, and the compression, combustion, and expansion of the charge take place in similar manner to that of the four-stroke cycle engine. The exhaust period is usually controlled by the piston overrunning ports in the cylinder at the end of its working stroke, these ports communicating direct with the outer air--the complication of an exhaust valve is thus obviated; immediately after the escape of the exhaust gases, charging of the cylinder occurs, and the fresh gas may be introduced either through a valve in the cylinder head or through ports situated diametrically opposite to the exhaust ports. The continuation of the outward stroke of the piston, after the exhaust ports have been closed, compresses the charge into the combustion chamber of the cylinder, and the ignition of the mixture produces a recurrence of the working stroke.

Thus, theoretically, is obtained the maximum of energy with the minimum of expenditure; in practice, however, the scavenging of the power cylinder, a matter of great importance in all internal combustion engines, is often imperfect, owing to the opening of the exhaust ports being of relatively short duration; clearing the exhaust gases out of the cylinder is not fully accomplished, and these gases mix with the fresh charge and detract from its efficiency. Similarly, owing to the shorter space of time allowed, the charging of the cylinder with the fresh mixture is not so efficient as in the four-stroke cycle type; the fresh charge is usually compressed slightly in a separate chamber--crank case, independent cylinder, or charging pump, and is delivered to the working cylinder during the beginning of the return stroke of the piston, while in engines working on the four-stroke cycle principle a complete stroke is devoted to the expulsion of the waste gases of the exhaust, and another full stroke to recharging the cylinder with fresh explosive mixture.

Theoretically the two-stroke and the four-stroke cycle engines possess exactly the same thermal efficiency, but actually this is modified by a series of practical conditions which to some extent tend to neutralise the very strong case in favour of the two-stroke cycle engine. The specific capacity of the engine operating on the two-stroke principle is theoretically twice that of one operating on the four-stroke cycle, and consequently, for equal power, the former should require only about half the cylinder volume of the latter; and, owing to the greater superficial area of the smaller cylinder, relatively, the latter should be far more easily cooled than the larger four-stroke cycle cylinder; thus it should be possible to get higher compression pressures, which in turn should result in great economy of working. Also the obtaining of a working impulse in the cylinder for each revolution of the crankshaft should give a great advantage in regularity of rotation--which it undoubtedly does--and the elimination of the operating gear for the valves, inlet and exhaust, should give greater simplicity of design.

In spite of all these theoretical--and some practical--advantages the four-stroke cycle engine was universally adopted for aircraft work; owing to the practical equality of the two principles of operation, so far as thermal efficiency and friction losses are concerned, there is no doubt that the simplicity of design (in theory) and high power output to weight ratio (also in theory) ought to have given the 'two-stroke' a place on the aeroplane. But this engine has to be developed so as to overcome its inherent drawbacks; better scavenging methods have yet to be devised--for this is the principal drawback--before the two-stroke can come to its own as a prime mover for aircraft.

Mr Dugald Clerk's original two-stroke cycle engine is indicated roughly, as regards principle, by the accompanying diagram, from which it will be seen that the elimination of the ordinary inlet and exhaust valves of the four-stroke type is more than compensated by a separate cylinder which, having a piston worked from the connecting-rod of the power cylinder, was used to charging, drawing the mixture from the carburettor past the valve in the top of the charging cylinder, and then forcing it through the connecting pipe into the power cylinder. The inlet valves both on the charging and the power cylinders are automatic; when the power piston is near the bottom of its stroke the piston in the charging cylinder is compressing the carburetted air, so that as soon as the pressure within the power cylinder is relieved by the exit of the burnt gases through the exhaust ports the pressure in the charging cylinder causes the valve in the head of the power cylinder to open, and fresh mixture flows into the cylinder, replacing the exhaust gases. After the piston has again covered the exhaust ports the mixture begins to be compressed, thus automatically closing the inlet valve. Ignition occurs near the end of the compression stroke, and the working stroke immediately follows, thus giving an impulse to the crankshaft on every down stroke of the piston. If the scavenging of the cylinder were complete, and the cylinder were to receive a full charge of fresh mixture for every stroke, the same mean effective pressure as is obtained with four-stroke cycle engines ought to be realised, and at an equal speed of rotation this engine should give twice the power obtainable from a four-stroke cycle engine of equal dimensions. This result was not achieved, and, with the improvements in construction brought about by experiment up to 1912, the output was found to be only about fifty per cent more than that of a four-stroke cycle engine of the same size, so that, when the charging cylinder is included, this engine has a greater weight per horse-power, while the lowest rate of fuel consumption recorded was 0.68 lb. per horse-power per hour.

In 1891 Mr Day invented a two-stroke cycle engine which used the crank case as a scavenging chamber, and a very large number of these engines have been built for industrial purposes. The charge of carburetted air is drawn through a non-return valve into the crank chamber during the upstroke of the piston, and compressed to about 4 lbs. pressure per square inch on the down stroke. When the piston approaches the bottom end of its stroke the upper edge first overruns an exhaust port, and almost immediately after uncovers an inlet port on the opposite side of the cylinder and in communication with the crank chamber; the entering charge, being under pressure, assists in expelling the exhaust gases from the cylinder. On the next upstroke the charge is compressed into the combustion space of the cylinder, a further charge simultaneously entering the crank case to be compressed after the ignition for the working stroke. To prevent the incoming charge escaping through the exhaust ports of the cylinder a deflector is formed on the top of the piston, causing the fresh gas to travel in an upward direction, thus avoiding as far as possible escape of the mixture to the atmosphere. From experiments conducted in 1910 by Professor Watson and Mr Fleming it was found that the proportion of fresh gases which escaped unburnt through the exhaust ports diminished with increase of speed; at 600 revolutions per minute about 36 per cent of the fresh charge was lost; at 1,200 revolutions per minute this was reduced to 20 per cent, and at 1,500 revolutions it was still farther reduced to 6 per cent.

So much for the early designs. With regard to engines of this type specially constructed for use with aircraft, three designs call for special mention. Messrs A. Gobe and H. Diard, Parisian engineers, produced an eight-cylindered two-stroke cycle engine of rotary design, the cylinders being co-axial. Each pair of opposite pistons was secured together by a rigid connecting rod, connected to a pin on a rotating crankshaft which was mounted eccentrically to the axis of rotation of the cylinders. The crankshaft carried a pinion gearing with an internally toothed wheel on the transmission shaft which carried the air-screw. The combustible mixture, emanating from a common supply pipe, was led through conduits to the front ends of the cylinders, in which the charges were compressed before being transferred to the working spaces through ports in tubular extensions carried by the pistons. These extensions had also exhaust ports, registering with ports in the cylinder which communicated with the outer air, and the extensions slid over depending cylinder heads attached to the crank case by long studs. The pump charge was compressed in one end of each cylinder, and the pump spaces each delivered into their corresponding adjacent combustion spaces. The charges entered the pump spaces during the suction period through passages which communicated with a central stationary supply passage at one end of the crank case, communication being cut off when the inlet orifice to the passage passed out of register with the port in the stationary member. The exhaust ports at the outer end of the combustion space opened just before and closed a little later than the air ports, and the incoming charge assisted in expelling the exhaust gases in a manner similar to that of the earlier types of two-stroke cycle engine; The accompanying rough diagram assists in showing the working of this engine.

Exhibited in the Paris Aero Exhibition of 1912, the Laviator two-stroke cycle engine, six-cylindered, could be operated either as a radial or as a rotary engine, all its pistons acting on a single crank. Cylinder dimensions of this engine were 3.94 inches bore by 5.12 inches stroke, and a power output of 50 horse-power was obtained when working at a rate of 1,200 revolutions per minute. Used as a radial engine, it developed 65 horse-power at the same rate of revolution, and, as the total weight was about 198 lbs., the weight of about 3 lbs. per horse-power was attained in radial use. Stepped pistons were employed, the annular space between the smaller or power piston and the walls of the larger cylinder being used as a charging pump for the power cylinder situated 120 degrees in rear of it. The charging cylinders were connected by short pipes to ports in the crank case which communicated with the hollow crankshaft through which the fresh gas was supplied, and once in each revolution each port in the case registered with the port in the hollow shaft. The mixture which then entered the charging cylinder was transferred to the corresponding working cylinder when the piston of that cylinder had reached the end of its power stroke, and immediately before this the exhaust ports diametrically opposite the inlet ports were uncovered; scavenging was thus assisted in the usual way. The very desirable feature of being entirely valveless was accomplished with this engine, which is also noteworthy for exceedingly compact design.

The Lamplough six-cylinder two-stroke cycle rotary, shown at the Aero Exhibition at Olympia in 1911, had several innovations, including a charging pump of rotary blower type. With the six cylinders, six power impulses at regular intervals were given on each rotation; otherwise, the cycle of operations was carried out much as in other two-stroke cycle engines. The pump supplied the mixture under slight pressure to an inlet port in each cylinder, which was opened at the same time as the exhaust port, the period of opening being controlled by the piston. The rotary blower sucked the mixture from the carburettor and delivered it to a passage communicating with the inlet ports in the cylinder walls. A mechanically-operated exhaust valve was placed in the centre of each cylinder head, and towards the end of the working stroke this valve opened, allowing part of the burnt gases to escape to the atmosphere; the remainder was pushed out by the fresh mixture going in through the ports at the bottom end of the cylinder. In practice, one or other of the cylinders was always taking fresh mixture while working, therefore the delivery from the pump was continuous and the mixture had not to be stored under pressure.

The piston of this engine was long enough to keep the ports covered when it was at the top of the stroke, and a bottom ring was provided to prevent the mixture from entering the crank case. In addition to preventing leakage, this ring no doubt prevented an excess of oil working up the piston into the cylinder. As the cylinder fired with every revolution, the valve gear was of the simplest construction, a fixed cam lifting each valve as the cylinder came into position. The spring of the exhaust valve was not placed round the stem in the usual way, but at the end of a short lever, away from the heat of the exhaust gases. The cylinders were of cast steel, the crank case of aluminium, and ball-bearings were fitted to the crankshaft, crank pins, and the rotary blower pump. Ignition was by means of a high-tension magneto of the two-spark pattern, and with a total weight of 300 lbs. the maximum output was 102 brake horse-power, giving a weight of just under 3 lbs. per horse-power.

One of the most successful of the two-stroke cycle engines was that designed by Mr G. F. Mort and constructed by the New Engine Company. With four cylinders of 3.69 inches bore by 4.5 inches stroke, and running at 1,250 revolutions per minute, this engine developed 50 brake horse-power; the total weight of the engine was 155 lbs., thus giving a weight of 3.1 lbs. per horse-power. A scavenging pump of the rotary type was employed, driven by means of gearing from the engine crankshaft, and in order to reduce weight to a minimum the vanes were of aluminium. This engine was tried on a biplane, and gave very satisfactory results.

American design yields two apparently successful two-stroke cycle aero engines. A rotary called the Fredericson engine was said to give an output of 70 brake horse-power with five cylinders 4.5 inches diameter by 4.75 inches stroke, running at 1,000 revolutions per minute. Another, the Roberts two-stroke cycle engine, yielded 100 brake horse-power from six cylinders of the stepped piston design; two carburettors, each supplying three cylinders, were fitted to this engine. Ignition was by means of the usual high-tension magneto, gear-driven from the crankshaft, and the engine, which was water-cooled, was of compact design.

It may thus be seen that the two-stroke cycle type got as far as actual experiment in air work, and that with considerable success. So far, however, the greater reliability of the four-stroke cycle has rendered it practically the only aircraft engine, and the two-stroke has yet some way to travel before it becomes a formidable competitor, in spite of its admitted theoretical and questioned practical advantages.


The principal engines of British, French, and American design used in the war period and since are briefly described under the four distinct types of aero engine; such notable examples as the Rolls-Royce, Sunbeam, and Napier engines have been given special mention, as they embodied--and still embody--all that is best in aero engine practice. So far, however, little has been said about the development of German aero engine design, apart from the early Daimler and other pioneer makes.

At the outbreak of hostilities in 1914, thanks to subsidies to contractors and prizes to aircraft pilots, the German aeroplane industry was in a comparatively flourishing condition. There were about twenty-two establishments making different types of heavier-thanair machines, monoplane and biplane, engined for the most part with the four-cylinder Argus or the six-cylinder Mercedes vertical type engines, each of these being of 100 horse-power--it was not till war brought increasing demands on aircraft that the limit of power began to rise. Contemporary with the Argus and Mercedes were the Austro-Daimler, Benz, and N.A.G., in vertical design, while as far as rotary types were concerned there were two, the Oberursel and the Stahlhertz; of these the former was by far the most promising, and it came to virtual monopoly of the rotary-engined plane as soon as the war demand began. It was practically a copy of the famous Gnome rotary, and thus deserves little description.

Germany, from the outbreak of war, practically, concentrated on the development of the Mercedes engine; and it is noteworthy that, with one exception, increase of power corresponding with the increased demand for power was attained without increasing the number of cylinders. The various models ranged between 75 and 260 horse-power, the latter being the most recent production of this type. The exception to the rule was the eight-cylinder 240 horse-power, which was replaced by the 260 horse-power six-cylinder model, the latter being more reliable and but very slightly heavier. Of the other engines, the 120 horsepower Argus and the 160 and 225 horse-power Benz were the most used, the Oberursel being very largely discarded after the Fokker monoplane had had its day, and the N.A.G. and Austro-Daimler Daimler also falling to comparative disuse. It may be said that the development of the Mercedes engine contributed very largely to such success as was achieved in the war period by German aircraft, and, in developing the engine, the builders were careful to make alterations in such a way as to effect the least possible change in the design of aeroplane to which they were to be fitted. Thus the engine base of the 175 horse-power model coincided precisely with that of the 150 horse-power model, and the 200 and 240 horse-power models retained the same base dimensions. It was estimated, in 1918, that well over eighty per cent of German aircraft was engined with the Mercedes type.

In design and construction, there was nothing abnormal about the Mercedes engine, the keynote throughout being extreme reliability and such simplification of design as would permit of mass production in different factories. Even before the war, the long list of records set up by this engine formed practical application of the wisdom of this policy; Bohn's flight of 24 hours 10 minutes, accomplished on July 10th and 11th, 1914, 9is an instance of this--the flight was accomplished on an Albatross biplane with a 75 horsepower Mercedes engine. The radial type, instanced in other countries by the Salmson and Anzani makes, was not developed in Germany; two radial engines were made in that country before the war, but the Germans seemed to lose faith in the type under war conditions, or it may have been that insistence on standardisation ruled out all but the proved examples of engine.

Details of one of the middle sizes of Mercedes motor, the 176 horse-power type, apply very generally to the whole range; this size was in use up to and beyond the conclusion of hostilities, and it may still be regarded as characteristic of modern (1920) German practice. The engine is of the fixed vertical type, has six cylinders in line, not off-set, and is water-cooled. The cam shaft is carried in a special bronze casing, seated on the immediate top of the cylinders, and a vertical shaft is interposed between crankshaft and camshaft, the latter being driven by bevel gearing.

On this vertical connecting-shaft the water pump is located, serving to steady the motion of the shaft. Extending immediately below the camshaft is another vertical shaft, driven by bevel gears from the crank-shaft, and terminating in a worm which drives the multiple piston oil pumps.

The cylinders are made from steel forgings, as are the valve chamber elbows, which are machined all over and welded together. A jacket of light steel is welded over the valve elbows and attached to a flange on the cylinders, forming a water-cooling space with a section of about 7/16 of an inch. The cylinder bore is 5.5 inches, and the stroke 6.29 inches. The cylinders are attached to the crank case by means of dogs and long through bolts, which have shoulders near their lower ends and are bolted to the lower half of the crank chamber. A very light and rigid structure is thus obtained, and the method of construction won the flattery of imitation by makers of other nationality.

The cooling system for the cylinders is extremely efficient. After leaving the water pump, the water enters the top of the front cylinders and passes successively through each of the six cylinders of the row; short tubes, welded to the tops of the cylinders, serve as connecting links in the system. The Panhard car engines for years were fitted with a similar cooling system, and the White and Poppe lorry engines were also similarly fitted; the system gives excellent cooling effect where it is most needed, round the valve chambers and the cylinder heads.

The pistons are built up from two pieces; a dropped forged steel piston head, from which depend the piston pin bosses, is combined with a cast-iron skirt, into which the steel head is screwed. Four rings are fitted, three at the upper and one at the lower end of the piston skirt, and two lubricating oil grooves are cut in the skirt, in addition to the ring grooves. Two small rivets retain the steel head on the piston skirt after it has been screwed into position, and it is also welded at two points. The coefficient of friction between the cast-iron and steel is considerably less than that which would exist between two steel parts, and there is less tendency for the skirt to score the cylinder walls than would be the case if all steel were used--so noticeable is this that many makers, after giving steel pistons a trial, discarded them in favour of cast-iron; the Gnome is an example of this, being originally fitted with a steel piston carrying a brass ring, discarded in favour of a cast-iron piston with a percentage of steel in the metal mixture. In the Le Rhone engine the difficulty is overcome by a cast-iron liner to the cylinders.

The piston pin of the Mercedes is of chrome nickel steel, and is retained in the piston by means of a set screw and cotter pin. The connecting rods, of I section, are very short and rigid, carrying floating bronze bushes which fit the piston pins at the small end, and carrying an oil tube on each for conveying oil from the crank pin to the piston pin.

The crankshaft is of chrome nickel steel, carried on seven bearings. Holes are drilled through each of the crank pins and main bearings, for half the diameter of the shaft, and these are plugged with pressed brass studs. Small holes, drilled through the crank cheeks, serve to convey lubricant from the main bearings to the crank pins. The propeller thrust is taken by a simple ball thrust bearing at the propeller end of the crankshaft, this thrust bearing being seated in a steel retainer which is clamped between the two halves of the crank case. At the forward end of the crankshaft there is mounted a master bevel gear on six splines; this bevel floats on the splines against a ball thrust bearing, and, in turn, the thrust is taken by the crank case cover. A stuffing box prevents the loss of lubricant out of the front end of the crank chamber, and an oil thrower ring serves a similar purpose at the propeller end of the crank chamber.

With a motor speed of 1,450 r.p.m., the vertical shaft at the forward end of the motor turns at 2,175 r.p.m., this being the speed of the two magnetos and the water pump. The lower vertical shaft bevel gear and the magneto driving gear are made integral with the vertical driving shaft, which is carried in plain bearings in an aluminium housing. This housing is clamped to the upper half of the crank case by means of three studs. The cam-shaft carries eighteen cams, these being the inlet and exhaust cams, and a set of half compression cams which are formed with the exhaust cams and are put into action when required by means of a lever at the forward end of the cam-shaft. The cam-shaft is hollow, and serves as a channel for the conveyance of lubricating oil to each of the camshaft bearings. At the forward end of this shaft there is also mounted an air pump for maintaining pressure on the fuel supply tank, and a bevel gear tachometer drive.

Lubrication of the engine is carried out by a full pressure system. The oil is pumped through a single manifold, with seven branches to the crankshaft main bearings, and then in turn through the hollow crankshaft to the connecting-rod big ends and thence through small tubes, already noted, to the small end bearings. The oil pump has four pistons and two double valves driven from a single eccentric shaft on which are mounted four eccentrics. The pump is continuously submerged in oil; in order to avoid great variations in pressure in the oil lines there is a piston operated pressure regulator, cut in between the pump and the oil lines. The two small pistons of the pump take fresh oil from a tank located in the fuselage of the machine; one of these delivers oil to the cam shaft, and one delivers to the crankshaft; this fresh oil mixes with the used oil, returns to the base, and back to the main large oil pump cylinders. By means of these small pump pistons a constant quantity of oil is kept in the motor, and the oil is continually being freshened by means of the new oil coming in. All the oil pipes are very securely fastened to the lower half of the crank case, and some cooling of the oil is effected by air passing through channels cast in the crank case on its way to the carburettor.

A light steel manifold serves to connect the exhaust ports of the cylinders to the main exhaust pipe, which is inclined about 25 degrees from vertical and is arranged to give on to the atmosphere just over the top of the upper wing of the aeroplane.

As regards carburation, an automatic air valve surrounds the throat of the carburettor, maintaining normal composition of mixture. A small jet is fitted for starting and running without load. The channels cast in the crank chamber, already alluded to in connection with oil-cooling, serve to warm the air before it reaches the carburettor, of which the body is water-jacketed.

Ignition of the engine is by means of two Bosch ZH6 magnetos, driven at a speed of 2,175 revolutions per minute when the engine is running at its normal speed of 1,450 revolutions. The maximum advance of spark is 12 mm., or 32 degrees before the top dead centre, and the firing order of the cylinders is 1,5,3,6,2,4.

The radiator fitted to this engine, together with the water-jackets, has a capacity of 25 litres of water, it is rectangular in shape, and is normally tilted at an angle of 30 degrees from vertical. Its weight is 26 kg., and it offers but slight head resistance in flight.

The radial type of engine, neglected altogether in Germany, was brought to a very high state of perfection at the end of the War period by British makers. Two makes, the Cosmos Engineering Company's 'Jupiter' and 'Lucifer,' and the A.B.C. 'Wasp II' and 'Dragon Fly 1A' require special mention for their light weight and reliability on trials.

The Cosmos 'Jupiter' was--for it is no longer being made--a 450 horse-power nine-cylinder radial engine, air-cooled, with the cylinders set in one single row; it was made both geared to reduce the propeller revolutions relatively to the crankshaft revolutions, and ungeared; the normal power of the geared type was 450 horse-power, and the total weight of the engine, including carburettors, magnetos, etc., was only 757 lbs.; the engine speed was 1,850 revolutions per minute, and the propeller revolutions were reduced by the gearing to 1,200. Fitted to a 'Bristol Badger' aeroplane, the total weight was 2,800 lbs., including pilot, passenger, two machine-guns, and full military load; at 7,000 feet the registered speed, with corrections for density, was 137 miles per hour; in climbing, the first 2,000 feet was accomplished in 1 minute 4 seconds; 4,000 feet was reached in 2 minutes 10 seconds; 6,000 feet was reached in 3 minutes 33 seconds, and 7,000 feet in 4 minutes 15 seconds. It was intended to modify the plane design and fit a new propeller, in order to attain even better results, but, if trials were made with these modifications, the results are not obtainable.

The Cosmos 'Lucifer' was a three-cylinder radial type engine of 100 horse-power, inverted Y design, made on the simplest possible principles with a view to quantity production and extreme reliability. The rated 100 horse-power was attained at 1,600 revolutions per minute, and the cylinder dimensions were 5.75 bore by 6.25 inches stroke. The cylinders were of aluminium and steel mixture, with aluminium heads; overhead valves, operated by push rods on the front side of the cylinders, were fitted, and a simple reducing gear ran them at half engine speed. The crank case was a circular aluminium casting, the engine being attached to the fuselage of the aeroplane by a circular flange situated at the back of the case; propeller shaft and crankshaft were integral. Dual ignition was provided, the generator and distributors being driven off the back end of the engine and the distributors being easily accessible. Lubrication was by means of two pumps, one scavenging and one suction, oil being fed under pressure from the crankshaft. A single carburettor fed all three cylinders, the branch pipe from the carburettor to the circular ring being provided with an exhaust heater. The total weight of the engine, 'all on,' was 280 lbs.

The A.B.C. 'Wasp II,' made by Walton Motors, Limited, is a seven-cylinder radial, air-cooled engine, the cylinders having a bore of 4.75 inches and stroke 6.25 inches. The normal brake horse-power at 1,650 revolutions is 160, and the maximum 200 at a speed of 1,850 revolutions per minute. Lubrication is by means of two rotary pumps, one feeding through the hollow crankshaft to the crank pin, giving centrifugal feed to big end and thence splash oiling, and one feeding to the nose of the engine, dropping on to the cams and forming a permanent sump for the gears on the bottom of the engine nose. Two carburettors are fitted, and two two-spark magnetos, running at one and three-quarters engine speed. The total weight of this engine is 350 lbs., or 1.75 lbs. per horse-power. Oil consumption at 1,850 revolutions is .03 pints per horse-power per hour, and petrol consumption is .56 pints per horsepower per hour. The engine thus shows as very economical in consumption, as well as very light in weight.

The A.B.C. 'Dragon Fly 1A 'is a nine-cylinder radial engine having one overhead inlet and two overhead exhaust valves per cylinder. The cylinder dimensions are 5.5 inches bore by 6.5 inches stroke, and the normal rate of speed, 1,650 revolutions per minute, gives 340 horse-power. The oiling is by means of two pumps, the system being practically identical with that of the 'Wasp II.' Oil consumption is .021 pints per brake horse-power per hour, and petrol consumption .56 pints--the same as that of the 'Wasp II.' The weight of the complete engine, including propeller boss, is 600 lbs., or 1,765 lbs. per horse-power.

These A.B.C. radials have proved highly satisfactory on tests, and their extreme simplicity of design and reliability commend them as engineering products and at the same time demonstrate the value, for aero work, of the air-cooled radial design--when this latter is accompanied by sound workmanship. These and the Cosmos engines represent the minimum of weight per horse-power yet attained, together with a practicable degree of reliability, in radial and probably any aero engine design.

Fortsetzung: APPENDICES


XXII. 1919-1920
Part II--1903-1920: PROGRESS IN DESIGN