Aeroplane engine

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made at Walthamstow, London

Postcard of Aeroplane engine.
© National Museums Scotland

Aeroplane engine

This Monosoupape aero-engine was designed around 1914 by the Gnome & Le Rhone Engine Company. It was made by Peter Hooker Ltd of Walthamstow in London.

The nine-cylinder 100-horsepower two-stroke engine is complete with carburettor, magneto and sparking plugs. The simple engine has no exhaust manifolds, the exhaust exiting the cylinders through the 'single valve' at each cylinder head. The fuel-air mixture enters through piping behind the engine and is vented into each cylinder through slots at their base. The nameplate is marked 'GNOME AND LE RHONE ENGINE CO (Designers); PETER HOOKER Ltd Walthamstow England (Makers); Type 100 hp mono engine No 31845'.

The engine gets its name from the valves at the top of each cylinder; 'Monosoupape' is French for single valve. It is a rotary engine - the propeller is fixed to the engine and the engine rotates around its propeller axis. This concept was invented by the Australian Samuel Hargreave in 1887. It produced rapid cooling of the engine but induced severe directional instability on some aeroplanes due to the torque produced.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-104-212-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1926.124
Date: Around 1914
c. 1914
Material: Inscription: No. 31845; Gnome and Le Rhone Engine Co., Peter Hooker, Walthamstow, London
What: Aeroplane engine, Monosoupape
Subject: 1. AERONAUTICS, Piston engines (Departmental Classification)
Who: Gnome and Le Rhone Engine Co. (Possible aeroplane engine manufacturer)
Peter Hooker Ltd (Maker)
Where: England, London
Description: 100 horsepower Monosoupape aeroplane engine, No. 31845, complete carburettor, magneto and sparking plugs, "Gnome & Le Rhone Engine Co., Peter Hooker, Walthamstow, London" on name plate, c. 1914
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