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designed in 1906, the Wrights used these 240 cu in motors on most airplanes through 1912.
Delivering 30-40 hp, these engines had a gear-driven high-tension
magneto-distributor-spark plug ignition system still common in piston airplane engines.
The operator adjusted the spark timing with a hand-lever on the magneto, later with foot
pedal. Each of cast-iron vertical cylinders bolted onto the aluminum crank case. They had
water pumps and radiators, but still cooled only half the cylinders' area. Like the
1904-1905 motors, the fuel pump delivered directly to the intake manifold and had no
throttle. The pilot opened a compression release to aid starting and to shut off the motor
in flight, allowing the propellers to free-wheel.
This was the only motor the Wrights
licensed production of to other companies. Although their competitors had more powerful
motors, the Wrights' aircraft had more efficient propellers and more reliable motors.
Carillon Park in Dayton, OH. displays one of these motors.
- McFarland, 1953, p 1215-1216, plates 227-228.
- Hobbs, 1971, pp 34-46.
- Lippincott, 1987, pp 87-89.
- McFarland, Marvin W. (ed) The papers of Wilbur and Orville Wright. McGraw-Hill
Book Co., New York, 1953, p 1215-1216, plates 227-228.
- Hobbs, Leonard S. The Wright Brothers' Engines and Their design. Washington, D.C.:
Smithsonian Institution Press, 1971, pp 34-46.
- Lippincott, Harvey H. Propulsion System of the Wright Brothers. In Wolko, Howard S.
(editor), The Wright Flyer, an Engineering Perspective. The Smithsonian Institution Press,
1987, pp 87-89.
[Submitted by Joe W. McDaniel]
A vertical 4-cylinder Wright engine with its crankcase open. This engine was
used on a Model B.
Wilbur adjusts a 4-cylinder engine on a Wright Model A in France, 1908.