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Allison V-3420 24-Cylinder Aircraft Engine - The Allison V-3420 24-cylinder engine was more than just two coupled V-1710s. The large engine showed promise, but other priorities and a lack of aircraft applications regulated the V-3420 to obscurity.
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.
Antoinette (Levavasseur) Aircraft Engines - Léon Levavasseur’s V-8 and V-16 Antoinette aircraft engines powered the aircraft used by many early pioneer aviators in Europe.
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 ‘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.
Arsenal 24H and 24H Tandem Aircraft Engines - The Arsenal 24H was a post-WWII French aircraft engine that used many components from the Junkers Jumo 213. The 24H was capable of 4,000 hp (2,983 kW), but the dawn of the jet age made the engine obsolete.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
Continental XI-1430 Aircraft Engine - Developed from the Continental O-1430, the inverted Vee XI-1430 was a compact, high-performance aircraft engine. Although 2,100 hp was achieved, the engine was troublesome and too late for WWII.
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 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.
Daimler-Benz DB 604 X-24 Aircraft Engine - The Daimler-Benz DB 604 was an X-24 engine designed to power aircraft of the Bomber B specification. However, the RLM chose the Junkers Jumo 222 engine, and the DB 604 was cancelled in 1942.
Daimler-Mercedes D VI W-18 Aircraft Engine - The Daimler-Mercedes D VI was a powerful W-18 engine developed to power large R-planes during WWI. Other projects took priority over the D VI, and the German engine never went into production.
Deissner ‘Paradox’ Rotary Aircraft Engine - Designed by Charles Deissner of England, the Paradox rotary engine was an attempt to provide an improved power plant for early aviators.
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.
Dobrynin M-250, VD-3TK, and VD-4K Aircraft Engines - Through and after WWII, Soviet engineer Vladimir Dobrynin developed a series of 24-cylinder aircraft engines. These inline radial engines had six cylinder banks and produced 2,200 to 4,300 hp (1,640 to 3,207 kW).
Duesenberg Aircraft Engines: A Technical Description - Authored by William Pearce, Duesenberg Aircraft Engines: A Technical Description describes the aircraft engines from this nearly forgotten chapter in Duesenberg and aviation history.
Dutheil-Chalmers Éole Opposed-Piston Aircraft Engine - The Dutheil-Chalmers Éole was a line of unusual, horizontal, opposed-piston engines. Built around 1910, the engines were intended for use in airships, but they were not successful.
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.
Fairey P.24 Monarch Aircraft Engine - Designed by Richard Forsyth, the P.24 Monarch was Fairey Aviation’s final attempt to enter the aircraft piston engine business. The 24-cylinder Monarch was essentially two engines in a common crankcase.
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 A.38, A.40, and A.44 Aircraft Engines - The last piston aircraft engines designed by FIAT were distinct and innovative. However, the V-16, X-24, and X-32 engines never entered production due to WWII and because existing engines proved sufficient.
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 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.
FKFS Gruppen-Flugmotor A, C, and D - The FKFS Gruppen-Flugmotor A, C, and D were attempts to create powerful, 48-cylinder aircraft engines for German WWII bombers.
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 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 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.
Hispano-Suiza 24Z (Type 95) Aircraft Engine - Drawing inspiration from the 24Y engine, Hispano-Suiza developed the 24Z. The jet age made the large, 3,600 hp (2,685 kW) H-24 engine obsolete.
Hitachi/Nakajima [Ha-51] 22-Cylinder Aircraft Engine - During WWII, the Imperial Japanese Army encouraged the development of high-power aircraft engines. One result of this work was the 22-cylinder Hitachi/Nakajima [Ha-51] radial engine of 2,450 hp.
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.
Inside the Cylinder of a Diesel Engine – by Harry Ricardo - Sir Harry Ricardo was one of the foremost engine designers and researchers of the internal combustion engine. In this article, he takes us through the first moments of combustion in a diesel engine.
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.
Isotta Fraschini Zeta X-24 Aircraft Engine - The Isotta Fraschini Zeta was an air-cooled, 24-cylinder engine developed in Italy during WWII. Flown only in the Caproni Vizzola F.6Z, cooling issues and Italy’s surrender limited the engine’s development.
Junkers Jumo 223 Aircraft Engine - The Junkers Jumo 223 was a 24-cylinder, diesel, opposed-piston, aircraft engine. The 2,500 hp (1,860 kW) engine was intended to be used in long-range aircraft during WWII.
Junkers Jumo 224 Aircraft Engine - Following the Jumo 223, Junkers designed a larger, 24-cylinder, diesel, opposed-piston, aircraft engine that was forecasted to produce 4,400 hp (3,280 kW). Taken over by the USSR after the war, the engine was redesignated M-224.
Klöckner-Humboldt-Deutz (KHD) Dz 700, Dz 710, and Dz 720 - Starting in the late 1930s and continuing through WWII, KHD built a series of two-stroke, diesel aircraft engines. The culmination of this effort was the 5,900 hp (4,400 kW), 32-cylinder KHD 720.
Lancia Tipo 4 and Tipo 5 V-12 Aircraft Engines - In 1916, Italian engineer Vincenzo Lancia built the 320 hp Tipo 4 V-12 aircraft engine. The design of the 600 hp Tipo 5 followed, as did V-12s for automotive use, but none of these engines entered production.
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 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.
Lycoming XH-2470 24-Cylinder Aircraft Engine - Lycoming worked to create a new engine by combining components from two O-1230 engines. The new engine was known as the XH-2470, but it was not developed in time to benefit the US Armed Forces.
Lycoming XR-7755 36-Cylinder Aircraft Engine - In 1943, Lycoming began work on a powerful and efficient engine intended to power the next generation of very large aircraft. The 5,000 hp XR-7755 ran in 1946, but such a large engine was no longer needed.
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.
Mathis Vega 42-Cylinder Aircraft Engine - The Mathis Vega was a French 42-cylinder aircraft engine built just before WWII. Attempts were made to produce the 2,800 hp (2,088 kW) engine after the war, but the time of large piston aircraft engines had passed.
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.
Mitsubishi A21 / Ha-50 22-Cylinder Aircraft Engine - During World War II, Mitsubishi endeavored to create an aircraft engine that produced an excess of 3,000 hp (2,237 kW). The end result was the 22-cylinder, two-row A21 / Ha-50 that produced 3,100 hp (2,312 kW).
Mitsubishi [Ha-43] (A20 / Ha-211 / MK9) Aircraft Engine - The Mitsubishi [Ha-43] was a late-war attempt for Japan to produce a lightweight, high-horsepower, radial engine. Developmental issues and bombing raids prevented quantity production of the engine.
Nakajima [Ha-54] (Ha-505) 36-Cylinder Aircraft Engine - The Nakajima [Ha-54] (Ha-505) was an attempt to build a 36-cylinder, 5,000 hp (3,728 kW) radial engine for a bomber capable of striking the US. Technical issues and Japan’s decline brought the project to an end.
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 Nomad Compound Aircraft Engine - The Napier Nomad was a compound piston/turbine aircraft engine designed shortly after WWII. Despite its complexity, the engine achieved new levels of fuel economy, but it could not compete with gas turbines.
One Second in the Life of a Racer – by Tom Fey - Tom Fey breaks down the inner workings of a race-prepped Merlin engine as it powers a modified P-51 Mustang to 480 mph around the course at the Reno Air Races.
One Second on the Course with Dreadnought – by Tom Fey - Tom Fey breaks down the inner workings of the R-4360 engine installed in the Sanders Family’s air racer Dreadnought as it provides race-power on the course at the Reno Air Races.
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’ 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.
R.E.P. Fan (Semi-Radial) Aircraft Engines - Starting in 1906, French early aviation pioneer Robert Esnault-Pelterie designed a series of fan (or semi-radial) aircraft engines, the most popular of which had seven cylinders and displaced 230 cu in (3.8 L).
Reggiane Re 101 to Re 105 Aircraft Engines - During WWII, the Italian aircraft manufacturer Reggiane designed a few aircraft engines. Only the Re 103 was built. It was an inverted W-18 that produced 1,740 hp (1,298 kW) and displaced 2,435 cu in (39.9 L).
Roberts Motor Company Aircraft Engines - During the 1910s, the Roberts Motor Company made a series of four- and six-cylinder aircraft engines. The two-stroke engines had open exhaust ports, a rotary intake valve, and exposed gearing.
Rolls-Royce Exe (Boreas) and Pennine Aircraft Engines - From the late 1930s to the mid-1940s, Rolls-Royce developed two air-cooled X-24 aircraft engines: the 1,200 hp (895 kW) Exe and the 2,800 hp (2,088 kW) Pennine. Neither engine entered production.
SPA-Faccioli Opposed-Piston Aircraft Engines - In the late 1910s, Italian engineer Aristide Faccioli worked with SPA to create a line of unique, opposed-piston aircraft engines. While the SPA-Faccioli engines did power some aircraft, none entered production.
Studebaker’s XH-9350 and Their Involvement with Other Aircraft Engines - Authored by William Pearce, the book details the Studebaker XH-9350: a project during WWII to create a large, 5,000 hp, fuel efficient, piston aircraft engine.
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.
Thomas / Leyland X-8 Aircraft Engine - Before Parry Thomas started his auto racing career, he was an engineer at Leyland Motors and designed an X-8 aircraft engine during World War I. The war ended before the 300 hp (224 kW) engine was ready.
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 Aeronautical R-4090 Cyclone 22 Aircraft Engine - During WWII, Wright Aeronautical built the 3,000 hp (2,237 kW) twin-row R-4090 using 22 cylinders from the R-3350 engine. The R-4090 was abandoned as all resources were needed on the R-3350.
Yakovlev M-501 and Zvezda M503 and M504 Diesel Engines - One of the largest aircraft engines ever built, the 42-cylinder Yakovlev M-501 was modified into the Zvezda M503 marine engine. A further redesign created the 56-cylinder Zvezda M504.
Yokosuka YE2H (W-18) and YE3B (X-24) Aircraft Engines - The Yokosuka YE2H and YE3B were an attempt by the Japanese Navy during WWII to create a powerful and compact aircraft engine that could be installed in the wings or fuselage of an aircraft.