Re: Rotary engines

Mick Fauchon (
Thu, 8 Dec 1994 12:37:51 +1100 (EST)


> lubricated with castor oil they suffered from no clogged or frozen oil pumps
> or pipes (though it must'ev made the pilot's life a treat!

Depends highly on the quality of the oil: the German Air Force had
major problems with rotaries due to the low quality of its Rizinus"ol
in 1918.

I sometimes wonder
> if all that clothing they wore was *entirely* due to cold!!), and probably
> fouled their spark-plugs much less frequently (predetonation and oil-fouling
> being the primary plug killers). Some rotaries lacked plugs altogether.
> You can imagine the stupendous difference in maintenance.

Things got interesting with the single-valve rotaries if the valve
didn't lift or seat properly: because it was still sucking, and the timing
was interrupted, the fuel in the induction pipe would ignite and blow back
through the carburettor in the form of a long blue flame. Interesting in
a confined cockpit.



Incidentally, if you look carefully [or even not so carefully]
at films or stills or aircraft taking off, it's easy to pick the vast
cloud of half-burn oil emitted from the engine.

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Mick Fauchon | Internet:
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