Aeroplane engine

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Postcard of Aeroplane engine.
© National Museums Scotland

Aeroplane engine

This Bentley B.R.II aero-engine dates from 1918 and was the powerplant of the Sopwith Snipe fighter, the replacement of the Sopwith Camel in Royal Air Force service.

The nine-cylinder, 230-horsepower, air-cooled engine is complete with carburettor, magneto and sparking plugs. The nameplate reads 'Manufactured by Gwynnes Ltd / BR 2 No 50491 40491'.

The Bentley B.R.II was one of the largest and most powerful examples of a rotary engine - an engine where the propeller is fixed to the engine and the whole unit spins around a fixed crankshaft. This produced rapid cooling of the engine but also produced great amounts of torque which was used to advantage by pilots of the time to increase manoeuvrability. The concept of the rotary engine was invented by the Australian Samuel Hargreave in 1887.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-104-213-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1926.125
Date: 1918
Material: Inscription: Manufactured by Gwynnes Ltd / BR 2 No 50491 40491
What: Aeroplane engine, B.R.II
Subject: 1. AERONAUTICS, Piston engines (Departmental Classification)
Who: Gwynnes Ltd
Description: 230 horsepower B.R.II air cooled aeroplane engine, complete with carburettor, magneto and sparking plugs, the name plate reads 'Manufactured by Gwynnes Ltd / BR 2 No 54091 40491', 1918
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