About AEHS
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A primary aim of the Aircraft Engine Historical Society is to share the reference material that allows authors and enthusiasts to write and speak knowledgeably on the subject of aircraft engines. To this end, AEHS provides to its members and to the public source material of historical interest.


Correct Designations for Jet, Turboprop, Pulse Jet, Ram Jet and Rocket Engines  (No dash between J, T, PJ, RJ, R and number after 15 May 1945)

Model Designations of U.S.A.F Engines - This invaluable reference provides detailed specifications (descriptions, ratings, dimensions, weights, aircraft used in) of all aircraft engines in the Air Force inventory as of 1 January 1950.

Searchable Catalog of USAF Engineering Division Records at the US National Archives II

Characteristics of Fuels (1.3M PDF)

Aircraft Engine Historical Society Document Collection

T.O. 00-25-29 - Maintenance Interchangeability Cross Reference Charts, WWII Aircraft, December 1943 (Moved to Member’s Section)

National Museum of the United States Air Force Engine Inventories

Commercial Aircraft and Engine Specifications, 1921 ~ 1931

Engine Approved Type Certificate List, Nos. 1 ~ 218, 1928 through 1939 (4.5M PDF)

Outstanding Compilation of Horizontally Opposed Aero Engine Information - by Jack Erickson

U.S. Military Aircraft Engine Data, by Roger Finnerty

U.S. Navy Aircraft Ground Check Data



AEHS Member Dr. Fred Starr has completed his groundbreaking three-part series, "Design and Development of Exhaust Valves From the Perspective of Modern Thinking."
This article appear in the Newcomen Society's prestegeous International Journal for the History of Engineering & Technology.


Part 1: Part I 1860 - 1930
Part 2: 1930 - 90 Part 2 can be downloaded for free.
Part 3: Part 3: Reverse Engineering of American and British Sodium-Cooled Valves


A German Assessment of the Allison V-1710 Aircraft Engine

The Evolution of Crankshaft Design in High Output In-Line Aircraft Piston Engines --- by Robert J. Raymond

Allison V-1710 and Rolls-Royce Merlin Torsional Vibration Characteristics (1.3M PDF) --- by Robert J. Raymond and Daniel D. Whitney

Bristol Engine Tests at the Royal Aircraft Establishment: Work Carried Out by Beatrice Shilling ca. 1941 (1.5M PDF) --- by Robert J. Raymond

Crankpin Bearings in High Output Aircraft Piston Engine (2.5M PDF) --- by Robert Raymond

Aircraft Engine Performance Analysis at Rolls-Royce ca. 1940 (web version) --- by Robert J. Raymond

Aircraft Engine Performance Analysis at Rolls-Royce ca. 1940 (1.6M PDF) --- by Robert J. Raymond

Comparison of Sleeve and Poppet-Valve Aircraft Piston Engines (2.0M PDF) --- by Robert J. Raymond

The Liberty Engine and Torsional Vibration (0.6M PDF) --- by Robert J. Raymond

Gearing for Gearheads: Analysis of Rolls-Royce Merlin Propeller Speed Reduction Unit --- by Phillip Miller

Aircraft Carburetor Air Scoops and Their Effects on Fuel-Air Ratio

The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

U.S. Navy Aeronautical Engine Laboratory Report Index
by Paul Christiansen

NARA I (Downtown Washington) U.S. Navy Bureau of Aeronautics Index (6.8MB PDF)
by Paul Christiansen


New Online Public Access Search Facility
by David Birch

Those who have searched NARA’s online catalogue — Archive Research Catalogue (ARC) — will have known what a tedious exercise it could be, trying to find all of the documents whose title bears the searchword you have entered. All that has changed. It has been totally revised and is now very much like the online search procedure of the National Archives at Kew, and is now called the Online Public Access (OPA). To find what you are looking for, this is the procedure:

Visit http://www.archives.gov

On the opening page click on "Research Our Records" link.

Then click on "Online Catalog" and enter your search word.

On the left side there is a column that allows you to refine your search to "date range", "type of material" and "location". Click on the ones as required, usually only the date range if, say, you are only interested in a certain period in time, and click enter. On the bottom half of the page that appears click on "View all Descriptions Only". All documents bearing your searchword will now appear, sometimes with a brief description. Click HERE for an example of what you will get. Note that the searchword in this case is "Allison V-", to sift engines from other subjects with Allison in the title.

The UK National Archives at Kew

The National Archives at Kew - Your First Visit --- by David Birch

Engine-Related Records at the UK National Archives at Kew --- Compiled by David Birch

  Air Force (AIR) Engine Records, WWI Onwards
  Ministry of Aviation (AVIA) Engine Technical Matters, WWI Onwards
  Directorate of Scientific Research (DSIR) Engine Records, 1914 - 1939

Propeller-Related Records at the UK National Archives at Kew --- Compiled by David Birch

  Ministry of Aviation (AVIA)
  Directorate of Scientific Research (DSIR)

One can obtain one's own list of document titles by visiting The National Archives site catalog search page. Enter the Word or Phrase (e.g. engines, Rolls-Royce, Wright, America, Rockets, etc.), the Year Range (e.g. 1939 1945) and Department or Series Code (e.g. AIR, AVIA, DSIR, FO, etc.). A reminder: just because the word 'engines' is in the file title does not mean that the contents are about engines.

More information about the National Archives at Kew, including opening times, is available from its web site. Please see http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/about/

The AP references in the right-hand columns are Air Ministry manuals. All documents can be photographed with a personal digital camera, but no flash is allowed (light is good in there, so no problem}. Sadly, they do not allow use of a scanner. This is because all pages in the files are collectively kept together with a string through their top left corners, and you are not allowed to release them.

Miscellaneous References

Table of US Engine Details, provided by Larry McClellan (PDF, XLS)

NASA Technical Report Server (NTRS) --- Online NACA (1917-1958), NASA (1958-present), and NIX (images and video). You can search for report number, title, keyword, or just look at everything done for a particular year.

Patent Resources

Index to Navy ADI(k) Microfilms of German Documents
These are held by National Air and Space Museum Archives --- Courtesy of Art Medcalf (101k xls)

All 10 volumes of the Smithsonian Annals of Flight

Archive for Flight Magazine from 1909 on

Air Force Case History Files — After the close of World War II, the US Air Force commissioned a number of Case History Files that examined various research and development efforts conducted by the Air Force and its contractors. Most of these reports are available as 16mm microfilm reels from the Air Force Historical Research Agency.
List of Air Force Case History Files Available on Microfilm (99K PDF)
Index of over 550,000 Air Force Documents Includes the Case History Files

Problems of Accelerating Aircraft Production During World War II (Excerpts Applicable to Engines, 1.9M PDF)

Jacobs Post WWII Auction Details (184K PDF)

Carburetor Models and Usage --- Expanded to Include Float and Non-US Models (224K MS Excel Worksheet)
Contributed by Pete Law and expanded by Robert Mawhinney to include float and non-US carburetors . Users are cautioned that this document may contain errors or omissions.

Packard Engine Statistics from Robert J. Neal
  Statistics of All Packard Aero Engines (91K PDF)
  Statistics of Production Packard Aero Engines (78K PDF)

Pratt & Whitney Reciprocating Engines

Key to Pratt & Whitney Engine Designations (218K)
Index of Wasp Jr. and R-985 Designated Engines (158K)
Index of Wasp and R-1340 Designated Engines (262K)
Index of Twin Wasp Jr. and R-1535 Designated Engines (102K)
Index of Hornet and R-1690 Designated Engines (322K)
Index of Twin Wasp and R-1830 Designated Engines (261K)
Index of Twin Wasp and R-2000 Designated Engines (86K)
Index of Twin Wasp, Twin Hornet and R-2180 Designated Engines (53K)
Index of Double Wasp and R-2800 Designated Engines (586K)
Index of Wasp Major and R-4360 Designated Engines (568K)
Pratt & Whitney Piston Reciprocating Engine Production
Twin Wasp D (R-2000) Model Differences (2.4M). Courtesy of Wings Over the Rockies Museum and James Tegart

Curtiss, Wright and Curtiss-Wright Engines

Curtiss, Lawrance and Wright Engine Specifications and Images
Summary of Wright Engine Shipments: 1920 to 1930 (81K PDF)
    This was transcribed by Robert J. Neal from a photocopy of a Curtiss-Wright document from the early 1960s.
Wright Engines, 1903 - 1940 (2.4M PDF)
Curtiss-Wright Engine Specs, 1930 - 1983 (4.3M PDF)
Wright Aeronautical Division (and Licensee) Shipments, 1920 - 1964 (5.1M PDF)
Curtiss and Wright Family Tree, WW1 Production (1.7M PDF)
Curtiss-Wright Engine Hours and Miles (1.6M PDF)
Curtiss-Wright Performance (4.1M PDF)
Cyclone 9 Facts (0.9M PDF)
Cyclone 18 Facts (1.5M PDF)