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A History of Aeronautics by Marsh and Vivian

One being attached to the end of the crankshaft


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.

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