Engines Before 1925

The year 1925 marked a major turning point in the development of aircraft engines for two reasons. First, it was the year that Wright Aeronautical Corporation introduced the J-5 Whirlwind. Second, it was the year that the Pratt & Whitney Wasp first ran. These two engines were the start of a string of successful air-cooled engines that revolutionized the delivery of air mail, air transportation, Navy fighters, and air racing.

Before 1925, most successful engines had been liquid-cooled. They had also been heavy, temperamental, and not very reliable. Nevertheless, these anachronistic engines powered aircraft through the early years of aviation, through the First World War, and through much of the barnstorming era of the 1920s and 1930s


The Aeromarine/Robinson R-13 "Cootie" Airplane and Engine

Aircraft Engines and Strategic Bombing in the First World War

by Todd Martin
Published: 27 Jan 2016

New England Air Museum’s Lawrnace J-1 Restoration

The Siemens-Halske Sh3 Differential Rotary

Dave Birch has shared the following images of documents at The United Kingdom National Archives at Kew.


Cosmos Engines Brochure, c 1919

WW1-Era Engine Images


Aircraft Engine Installation Drawings (Members Section, Installations)

Curtiss OX-5

A collection of installation drawings released for historical reference by the U.S. Army Aeronautical Museum in 1924 as Miscellaneous Report No. 380.

Included are the Aeromarine U-8-D, Curtiss C-12, Curtiss C-6, Curtiss OX-5, Curtiss V-2, Engineering Division W1-A, Hall-Scott L-6, Hispano-Suiza Model K, Lawrance J-1, Lawrance L-4, Lawrance R-1, LeRhone 100HP, LeRhone 80 HP Model C, Liberty 12, Liberty 6, Packard 1A-1237, Packard 1A-2025, Packard 1A-744, Packard 1A-825, Rausie E-6, Union 125HP Airship Engine, Wright Model A, Wright Model E, Wright Model H, and Wright Model I. The Curtiss OX-5 drawing (left) is representative of the lot. There are two drawings for many engines.


Aircraft Engine Specifications circa 1924

Notes on WWI German Superchargers
by Paul Dempsy

Salmson P-9

From the Museum VHU Praha-Kbely, Czech Republic, photographs by Milo Holba. This 9-cylinder water-cooled fixed radial was rated at 150 hp @ 1,300 rpm. With a bore of 125 mm (4.921") and a stroke of 140 mm (5.512") the Salmson P-9 displaced 15.46 l (943.55 in³). Over 1,200 were produced during 1915 and 1916 and were used mostly in Voisin airplanes.


Salmson Z-9





V-24 Antoinette

Philippe Gervais of Rouen, France, researches aircraft and marine engines built prior to World War I. He has contributed the following Antoinette images.