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Can You Help Identify These Engines?


The Aviation Museum of California in Sacramento, California has on display a three-cylinder rotary aircraft engine that cannot be identified for lack of a data plate. Specifications such as cylinder bore, stroke, horsepower, manufacturer and year of manufacture are unknown.

Layout and Construction: The engine is 25.5“ in diameter and 30“ long. It has two valves (intake and exhaust) per cylinder. The exhaust ports face forward, with no provision for a collector ring or exhaust stacks. The cylinders and crankcase are all one aluminum sand-casting. Cylinder fins are cast rather than being machined.

Carburetion: The carburetor is a Tillotson, Patent No. 1695671 with an additional number, RE 14780, and is probably Part No. JR1A. This carburetor was used on Plymouths and as a Ford Model A replacement carburetor around 1929. Fuel/air mixture is delivered from the carburetor, through the hollow crankshaft, into the crankcase and to each cylinder via channels cast into the cylinders. The air intake is below the carburetor and faces forward.

Ignition: The engine has two magnetos stamped "ROBERT BOSCH GERMANY". A 0.500“-thick non-metallic ring, attached to the rear of the crankcase, supports the ignition wires and makes contact with the magneto outputs as the engine rotates.

Lubrication: A brass fitting at the top of the carburetor rear, may have been the "oil-in" line fitting, mixing the lubricating oil with the fuel/air mixture passing into the crankcase. Valve rocker arm supports are provided with grease fittings. There is no provision for lubrication of the magneto drives.


Please send information that might be useful in identifying this engine to




This turns out to be a Caminez Model 447-D.
Please see The Engines of Brodhead in the Members Section.


Curators at the National Air and Space Museum were trying to identify this engine. Here is what is known about it:

Department: Aeronautics
Alternate Object Name: Engine, Radial 4
Country of Origin: United States of America
Description: 4 cylinders; Aircooled; Radial "x" configuration; Made of
"Lynite" alloy; Missing carburetor, magnetos, valve covers and springs,
spark plugs, and ignition wiring.
Dimensions: Length 29 in., Diameter 39.5 in.
Curatorial Remarks: The identity of this engine's manufacturer requires
additional research. Manufacturers of 4-cylinder radial aircraft engines
included: Universal Engine and Propeller Company in Berkeley, California;
Brun von Festenberg-Pakisch of Hamburg, Germany; Fairchild-Caminez Engine Corporation, Farmingdale, N.Y.; Irwin Aircraft Co. of Watsonville, California.
Bibliography: Glenn D. Angle, Aerosphere 1939 (New York: Aircraft Publications, 1940).
Credit Line: Gift of Long Island (Clark) Automotive Museum.
Donor: Long Island Automotive Museum
Acquiring Curator: Paul E. Garber
Responsible Curator: Jeremy R. Kinney

Additional Images


While this engine appears to be a cam engine with internal construction similar to the Fairchild Caminez 4-cylinder engine, cylinder construction differs. This engine has enclosed valve gear that is actuated from cams at both the front and rear of the cylinders.


Boroscope Images of Engine Internals (view of piston bottom)