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Franklin Air-Cooled Engines
The Employment of Automobile Manufacturing Methods by the Aircooled Motors Corporation

This article first appeared in the Volume 4, Number 44 (June, 1942) issue of Aircraft Production magazine, and is presented here through the kind permission of Flight International. Thanks also to Bruce Vander Mark for furnishing volumes of Aircraft Production for scanning.

When considering the manufacture of aircraft engines there is a tendency to think only in terms of large-scale quantity production and special-purpose equipment. Under peacetime conditions, however, there are many firms throughout the world who build engines for small private aircraft under the batch system, and to such firms the employment of expensive special-purpose machines for individual operations is not an economic proposition. As a consequence, considerable ingenuity has to be exercised in the design of jigs and fixtures to enable their employment for several different components.

Successful small-scale batch production requires the same or even a greater degree of skill and planning as quantity production, and for this reason we give below a brief summary of the manufacture of the Franklin engine.



The experience acquired in many years’ manufacture of air-cooled car engines plays an important part in the methods adopted by the Aircooled Motors Corporation, of Syracuse, U.S.A., for the production of Franklin aircraft engines. This experience has extended over the last forty years, from the pioneer automobile days when Franklin air-cooled cars held a prominent position. Although the H. H. Franklin Manufacturing Co. went out of existence years ago as an automobile company, the manufacture of air-cooled engines has been continued since 1936 by the Aircooled Motors Corporation, who have transferred their attention from the manufacture of engines for road vehicles to the production solely of small engines for light private and civilian pilot training aircraft.

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