Aircraft Engines: Between the Wars

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Allison X-4520 RRHTAB front Allison X-4520 24-Cylinder Aircraft Engine - The 24-cylinder X-4520 engine was designed by the Power Plant Section at McCook Field and refined and built by Allison in 1925. A four-year delay before the engine was run left little interest to continue the project.
Argus As 5 Aircraft Engine - With a displacement of 5,742 cu in (94.1 L), the Argus As 5 exemplified the 1920s concept of using a single large engine to power a large aircraft. The 1,500 hp (1,120 kW) engine was too large for contemporary aircraft.
Armstrong Siddeley Deerhound III Armstrong Siddeley ‘Dog’ Aircraft Engines - In the 1930s, Armstrong Siddeley started a new line of engines named after dogs (canines). Most of these engines were radials with banks of inline cylinders. The most famous engine of the series was the Deerhound.
Beardmore Cyclone, Typhoon, and Simoon Aircraft Engines - The Beardmore Cyclone, Typhoon, and Simoon were a series of powerful, straight six- and straight eight-cylinder aircraft engines built in Britain in the 1920s. The large size of the engines limited their use.
Beardmore Tornado Mk III Beardmore Tornado Diesel Airship Engine - The Beardmore Tornado was a 5,132 cu in (84.1 L), eight-cylinder, diesel engine that produced 650 hp (485 kw). Five Tornado engines powered the British R101 airship, which crashed in October 1930, killing 48 people.
Breguet-Bugatti 32A test Bréguet-Bugatti 32A and 32B Quadimoteurs - The Bréguet-Bugatti Quadimoteurs were named for their configuration of four essentially independent engines coupled together to create one powerful engine. The engines’ size and complexity limited their usefulness.
Bristol Hydra front Bristol Hydra 16-Cylinder Radial Aircraft Engine - The Bristol Hydra of the early 1930s was one of the most unusual radial engines ever built. Its two rows of eight cylinders were inline. Vibration issues and promising developments with sleeve valves led to its demise.
Caffort-12Aa-rear Caffort 12Aa 12-Cylinder Aircraft Engine - The Caffort 12Aa was a flat, 12-cylinder aircraft engine built on a modular design concept conceived by Jean Bertrand and Louis Solant. The engine was first run in 1926, but only one prototype was built.
Clerget 16 H Diesel Aircraft Engine - The Clerget 16 H was a V-16 fitted with four turbosuperchargers. First run in 1939, the engine displaced 4,969 cu in (81.43 L), produced 2,000 hp (1,491 kW), and was intended to power transatlantic passenger aircraft.
Continental-O-1430-engine Continental Hyper Cylinder and the O-1430 Aircraft Engine - In the 1930s, the Army Air Corps contracted Continental to develop a high-performance (Hyper) cylinder that produced 1 hp / cu in. This work led to the horizontally opposed, 12-cylinder O-1430 aircraft engine.
Curtiss H-1640 Chieftain Aircraft Engine - The Curtiss H-1640 Chieftain was a 600 hp (447 kW), 12-cylinder, air-cooled, inline radial aircraft engine. The engine was first run in 1927, but its overheating issues were never resolved.
daimler-benz-db602-zeppelin-museum Daimler-Benz DB 602 (LOF-6) V-16 Diesel Airship Engine - The DB 602 V-16 was a world-class diesel airship engine built by Daimler-Benz in the 1930s. Because of the ill-fated Hindenburg and the end of the airship era, the engine never left a direct mark on history.
Delage-12-CDirs-front Delage 12 GVis and 12 CDirs Aircraft Engines - The Delage 12 GVis and 12 CDirs were an attempt to make compact, high-power, inverted V-12 aircraft engines. The Delage company experienced financial issues and abandoned the projects in 1934.
Deschamps V 3050 Diesel Aircraft Engine - The Deschamps V 3050 was an attempt to create a powerful diesel aircraft engine. The inverted V-12 engine produced 1,200 hp (895 kW) in 1934, but the lack of funds prevented the engine from being thoroughly tested.
Fairchild-Caminez-447-C Fairchild Caminez 447 Radial Cam Engine - Designed by Harold Caminez, the Fairchild Caminez 447 Radial Cam Engine was a serious attempt to create a crankless aircraft engine. Ultimately, engine vibrations and overheating were never overcome.
Fairey Fox II P12 engine run Fairey P.12 Prince Aircraft Engine - Starting in the mid-1920s, the Fairey Aviation Company made a number of attempts to enter the aircraft engine business in Britain. Designed by Richard Forsyth, the P.12 Prince was their first original design.
Farman 18T engine Farman 18T 18-Cylinder Aircraft Engine - The Farman 18T was a uniquely shaped aircraft engine intended to power a Schneider Trophy racer built by Bernard. The aircraft never materialized, nor did any challenger from France for the 1931 race.
FIAT AS.6 Aircraft Engine (for the MC.72) - The FIAT AS.6 engine ultimately produced 3,100 hp (2,312 kW) and was used to propel the MC.72 to 440.682 mph (709.209 km/h). But development of the 24-cylinder engine was plagued with issues and cost several lives.
FIAT AS8 V-16 side FIAT AS.8 Engine and CMASA CS.15 Racer - Powered by the 2,250 hp (1,678 kW) FIAT AS.8 V-16 engine, the Italian CMASA CS.15 racer was intended to set a new world speed record for aircraft, but WWII prevented the aircraft from being completed.
Moore three valve engine General Airmotors / Moore Three Valve Aircraft Engine - In the late 1929, Robert Moore built a 150 hp (112 kW), five-cylinder, radial engine that used three valves per cylinder. Lack of sales during the Great Depression resulted in the engine being discontinued.
Hispano-Suiza 18Sbr Hispano-Suiza 18R and 18Sb Aircraft Engines - The Hispano-Suiza 18R and 18Sb were a series of high-performance W-18 aircraft engines. The engines displaced 3,300 cu in (54.1 L) but never developed the intended 1,680 hp (1,253 kW).
Hispano-Suiza 24Y Type 90 side Hispano-Suiza 24Y (Type 82 and Type 90) Aircraft Engine - Based on the Hispano-Suiza 12Y, the 24Y was an attempt to create a 2,200 hp (1,641 kW) H-24 engine. The start of WWII changed priorities for the French company, and the engine was abandoned.
IAM M-44 sectional view IAM M-44 V-12 Aircraft Engine - Designed in the 1930s for very large Soviet aircraft, the IAM M-44 was the largest V-12 aircraft engine ever built. It displaced 8,107 cu in (132.9 L) and produced 2,000 hp (1,491 kW) but never entered production.
Isotta Fraschini Asso 750 front Isotta Fraschini W-18 Aircraft and Marine Engines - In the 1920s and 1930s, Isotta Fraschini developed the Asso 750 and Asso 1000 W-18 aircraft engines. Although used in a number of aircraft, the engine found a much longer life in marine applications.
Lorraine 12Fa Lorraine-Dietrich ‘W’ Aircraft Engines - In the 1920s and 1930s, Lorraine-Dietrich developed three generations of W-type aircraft engines. The most successful was the 12E (W-12), but other models included the 24G (W-24) and 18Ga (W-18).
Lycoming O-1230 front Lycoming O-1230 Flat-12 Aircraft Engine - In 1932, Lycoming began developing a high-performance engine to meet the Army Air Corps’ needs. The engine became the O-1230, but it was outclassed by the time it was ready for production.
Marchetti MP Cam Action Marchetti Cam-Action Engines - Italian immigrant to the US, Paul Marchetti designed a number of crankless aircraft engines called cam-action engines in the 1920s. Marchetti had just started his business when he died in a crash while learning to fly.
Menasco Unitwin rear Menasco 2-544 Unitwin Aircraft Engine - In an attempt to create a more powerful engine, Al Menasco combined two six-cylinder engines to make the 1,090 cu in (17.9 L) U-12 Unitwin. Its 660 hp (492 kW) output fell short of the 700 hp (522 kW) forecasted.
Napier Cub E66 engine Napier Cub (E66) – First 1,000 hp Aircraft Engine - When it was first run in 1920, the Napier Cub was the world’s most powerful aircraft engine. The 16-cylinder engine displaced 3,682 cu in (60.3 L) and produced 1,000 hp (746 kW) but was too large to be practical.
Napier-Rapier-VI Napier H-16 Rapier Aircraft Engine - The Napier Rapier was designed by Frank Halford in the late 1920s as a fairly small and light, highspeed aircraft engine. The air-cooled H-16 saw limited production and led to larger and more powerful engines.
Napier-Dagger-VIII-front Napier H-24 Dagger Aircraft Engine - The Napier Dagger was an air-cooled H-24 aircraft engine designed by Frank Halford in the 1930s. The engine was ultimately developed to produce 1,000 hp (746 kW), but it was not installed in many aircraft.
Packard X-2775 front Packard X-2775 24-Cylinder Aircraft Engine - The Packard X-2775 (1A-2775) X-24 was a light, compact, and powerful aircraft engine. Trouble with the Kirkham-Williams and Williams Mercury Racers prevented the engine from proving itself.
Pratt Whitney R-2060 Yellow Jacket Pratt & Whitney R-2060 ‘Yellow Jacket’ 20-Cylinder Engine - The R-2060 Yellow Jacket was the first liquid-cooled engine built by Pratt & Whitney. However, the 20-cylinder, inline-radial engine was never fully developed and only one was built.
SNCM-130-137-mockup-display SNCM 130 and 137 24-Cylinder Aircraft Engines - The SNCM 130 was a hexagonal 24-cylinder aircraft engine designed in France just before WWII. A slightly smaller prototype version, the SNCM 137, was built and tested before the German invasion.
Sunbeam Sikh I Sunbeam Sikh I, II, and III Aircraft Engines - The Sunbeam Sikh were a series of powerful aircraft engines built in the 1920s. The V-12 Sikh I had six valves per cylinder and displaced 3,913 cu in (64.1 L). Only a small number of the Sikh engines were made.
tips-1917-18-cylinder-rotary-engine Tips Aero Motor Rotary Aircraft Engines - Designed by Maurice Tips, who was originally from Belgium, the Tips aircraft engines were a unique series of rotary engines with rotary valves.
Wright-H-2120-No-1-front-left Wright H-2120 Hexagonal Engine - The 12-cylinder Wright H-2120 was a hexagonal, liquid-cooled engine based on the Curtiss H-1640 Chieftain. While the H-2120 met its power goals, development was dropped in favor of the R-2600.