Engines Before 1925

The year 1925 marked a major turning point in the development of aircraft engines for two reasons. First, it was the year that Wright Aeronautical Corporation introduced the J-5 Whirlwind. Second, it was the year that the Pratt & Whitney Wasp first ran. These two engines were the start of a string of successful air-cooled engines that revolutionized the delivery of air mail, air transportation, Navy fighters, and air racing.

Before 1925, most successful engines had been liquid-cooled. They had also been heavy, temperamental, and not very reliable. Nevertheless, these anachronistic engines powered aircraft through the early years of aviation, through the First World War, and through much of the barnstorming era of the 1920s and 1930s

Aircraft Engines and Strategic Bombing in the First World War

by Todd Martin
Original: 27 Jan 2016

New England Air Museum's Lawrnace J-1 Restoration

The Siemens-Halske Sh3 Differential Rotary

Dave Birch has shared the following images of documents at The United Kingdom National Archives at Kew.

Opel Type III Siddeley Tiger 90hp Beardmore, which was a
license-built Austro-Daimler
Bentley BR.1 Bentley BR.2


Cosmos Engines Brochure, c 1919

WW1-Era Engine Images


Aircraft Engine Installation Drawings (Members Section, Installations)

A collection of installation drawings released for historical reference by the U.S. Army Aeronautical Museum in 1924 as Miscellaneous Report No. 380.

Included are the Aeromarine U-8-D, Curtiss C-12, Curtiss C-6, Curtiss OX-5, Curtiss V-2, Engineering Division W1-A, Hall-Scott L-6, Hispano-Suiza Model K, Lawrance J-1, Lawrance L-4, Lawrance R-1, LeRhone 100HP, LeRhone 80 HP Model C, Liberty 12, Liberty 6, Packard 1A-1237, Packard 1A-2025, Packard 1A-744, Packard 1A-825, Rausie E-6, Union 125HP Airship Engine, Wright Model A, Wright Model E, Wright Model H, and Wright Model I. The Curtiss OX-5 drawing (left) is representative of the lot. There are two drawings for many engines.
Curtiss OX-5


Aircraft Engine Specifications circa 1924

Notes on WWI German Superchargers

by Paul Dempsy

Salmson P-9

From the Museum VHU Praha-Kbely, Czech Republic, photographs by Milo Holba. This 9-cylinder water-cooled fixed radial was rated at 150 hp @ 1,300 rpm. With a bore of 125 mm (4.921") and a stroke of 140 mm (5.512") the Salmson P-9 displaced 15.46 l (943.55 in³). Over 1,200 were produced during 1915 and 1916 and were used mostly in Voisin airplanes.



Notes on the Liberty Aircraft Engine

by Paul Dempsey

The Liberty Engine and Torsional Vibration (586K PDF)

by Robert J. Raymond  

The WWI Austro-Daimler Aero Engines of Ferdinand Porsche

by Karl Ludvigsen

The 120 HP Argyll - Pioneer Sleeve Valve Aero-Engine

by Jerry Wells


Curtiss OX-5 (303 KB PDF)

The Curtiss OX-5 has the distinction of being the first mass-produced aircraft engine in the United States. First available in 1915, it served in trainers through World War I, continued to be produced by Curtiss as well as other licensees until 1918 or 1919, and then powered a veritable explosion in general aviation after the end of the war and for a decade to follow.

50 HP Antoinette



V-24 Antoinette

Philippe Gervais of Rouen, France, researches aircraft and marine engines built prior to World War I. He has contributed the following Antoinette images.

V-24 Antoinette for race runabout ( 1907)

V8 for Levavasseur 1903 aeroplane for Pegase, an illustration for an article by Mr. Gervais in the French journal  "Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace"