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A History of Aeronautics by Marsh and Vivian

And ball bearings were fitted to the crankshaft


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.

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