Category Archives: Books

America’s Round-Engine Airliners

By Craig Kodera
and William Pearce

Some of the most significant engineering and technological breakthroughs of the 20th century centered on the development of piston aero engines from 1920 to 1957. America’s Round-Engine Airliners explains in detailed, well-illustrated, and easy-to-understand terms how these piston-powered radial-engine airliners advanced rapidly. The aircraft originated with fabric-covered fuselages with wooden wings and morphed into all-metal Ford Trimotors as the world’s first true “modern airliner,” the Douglas DC-3, long-range four-engine transoceanic flying boats. Finally, the ultimate “Queens of the skies” Lockheed Constellations, Douglas DC-7s, and Boeing Stratocruisers flew at the zenith of the piston age in the mid-to-late 1950s.

Many magnificent aircraft bridged the gap from small single-engine airliners carrying six passengers in the 1920s to large long-range, four-engine landplanes carrying 60-to-80 passengers and linking all the world’s continents by air in the 1950s. This book not only traces the technical evolution of every radial-engine powerplant used over that time span but also includes interesting and fact-filled sidebars that detail what it was like flying aboard each generation of these aircraft. In 1948, the largest radial piston engine ever produced entered airline service, the mighty 3,500-hp 28-cylinder Pratt & Whitney R-4360; it is one of 12 different radial engines covered in-depth by the authors of this book.


Forward by Jon Proctor
1. From Inline to Round
2. One Wing, Two Engines, All Metal
3. Presenting the Ship as an Airplane
4. Landplanes Become Viable Contenders
5. Expanding the Envelope
6. Some Serious Air Transports
7. Shrinking the Envelope
8. The Big Time
9. Twilight of the Goddesses
Epilogue: From Best of the Radials to the First Jets

Specialty Press
$46.95 USD
10 in x 10 in
216 pages
500 illustrations
ISBN 978-1580072571
Sample pages (2 MB pdf)

America’s Round-Engine Airliners: Air Frames and Powerplants in the Golden Age of Aviation is available from Specialty Press,, and other retailers.

Studebaker’s XH-9350 and Their Involvement with Other Aircraft Engines

By William Pearce

Before the United States entered World War II, the Army Air Corps conceptualized a large aircraft engine for which fuel efficiency was the paramount concern. It was believed that such an engine could power bombers from North America to attack targets in Europe, a tactic that would be needed if the United Kingdom were to fall. This engine project was known as MX-232, and Studebaker was tasked with its development. After years of testing and development, the MX-232 program produced the Studebaker XH-9350 engine design.

Although a complete XH-9350 engine was not built, Studebaker’s XH-9350 and Their Involvement with Other Aircraft Engines details the development of the MX-232 program and the XH-9350 design. In addition, the book covers Studebaker’s work with other aircraft engines: the power plant for the Waterman Arrowbile, their licensed production of the Wright R-1820 radial engine during World War II, and their licensed production of the General Electric J47 jet engine during the Korean War.


1. Studebaker History
2. Waldo Waterman and the Arrowbile
3. Studebaker-Built Wright R-1820 Cyclone
4. XH-9350 in Context
5. XH-9350 in Development
6. XH-9350 in Perspective
7. Studebaker-Built GE J47 Turbojet
Appendix: MX-232 / XH-9350 Documents

$19.99 USD
8.5 in x 11 in
214 pages (222 total page count)
Over 185 images, drawings, and tables, and over 75,000 words
ISBN 978-0-9850353-1-0

Studebaker’s XH-9350 and Their Involvement with Other Aircraft Engines is available at If you wish to purchase the book with a check, please contact us for arrangements.

Sample Pages:

Duesenberg Aircraft Engines: A Technical Description

By William Pearce

The Duesenberg name became legendary in early auto racing and is now known around the world as one of the most sought after classic cars. For a brief period, encompassing World War I, Fred and Augie Duesenberg turned their attention to aircraft engines. In the span of five years, their company created four unique aircraft engines and was involved in the development of others.

Duesenberg Aircraft Engines: A Technical Description contains over 100 illustrations and describes the aircraft engines from this nearly forgotten chapter in Duesenberg and aviation history.


1.  Fred and Augie Duesenberg
2.  Duesenberg “Walking Beam” Valve Gear
3.  Straight-Four Engine of 1915
4.  V-12 Engine of 1916
5.  Sixteen-Valve Straight-Four Engine
6.  The King-Bugatti U-16 Engine
7.  Duesenberg Model H V-16 Engine
Appendix A – Duesenberg Aircraft Engine Comparison
Appendix B – Duesenberg Valve Gear Patent
Appendix C – The King V-12 Aero Engine
Appendix D – Duesenberg Engine Test House
Appendix E – Christensen Self-Starter
Appendix F – Notes on Descriptions and Conflicting Information

$12.99 USD
6 in x 9 in
112 pages (122 total page count)
ISBN 978-0-9850353-0-3

Duesenberg Aircraft Engines: A Technical Description is available at If you wish to purchase the book with a check, please contact us for arrangements.

Sample Pages:
Duesenberg Aircraft Engines sample Duesenberg Aircraft Engines sample Duesenberg Aircraft Engines sample.




The revisions below are formatted to be printed and added to your copy of Duesenberg Aircraft Engines. Check the revision number on the copyright page and download any new revisions.
Revision 20130329
Revision 20150122

Duesenberg Motors New York Aero Show

A recently discovered image of the Duesenberg Motors Corporation display at the New York Aeronautical Exhibition, held in Madison Square Garden from 1 to 15 March 1919. From left to right is a complete King-Bugatti U-16 engine built by Duesenberg, the Duesenberg Model H V-16 engine with gear reduction, the sixteen-valve four-cylinder Duesenberg engine with gear reduction, and a partially assembled King-Bugatti engine.