Model Motor Museums (Part 2)
December 1959 American Modeler
engines that were just being released for production in the year this
article was written are now 52 years old, and would therefore now qualify
as vintage engines in any modern model engine museum. The article's
author, Pete Chinn, probably did not even conceive of the possibility
while writing his piece in November 1959. He has some enviable model
engines from as far back as the Stagner 7.4 cu.in. V-4, circa 1909.
At the time, the Wright Brothers were developing engines not a lot larger
than that for their full-size craft (well, a tad bit larger). That makes
model aircraft engines, as an entity, just about 100 years old. Amazing.
Sure, there are a few out there older, but not many.
1959 edition of American Modeler had the first part of this article
with more of Mr. Chinn's model motors.
"Pete" Chinn concludes his fascinating report on the
Model Motor Museums
Next to the Brown, every collector of historic engines wants a Baby
Cyclone. This, the first of so many Atwood designs (others: early Phantom
and Torpedo, Champion, Glo-Devil, Triumph, Wasp, Shriek, Wen-Mac), was
first marketed in 1935 and was subsequently produced in three modified
versions known as the Models D, E and F, from 1936 through 1939.
Although large numbers of Baby Cyclones were built, they are now very
difficult to find, especially the pre-1937 models. Early Cyclones can
be identified by their plain unfinned heads and the very earliest models
have a fixed timer, speed control being by means of the needle-valve
only. These early models sold for $15.75, complete with coil and condenser,
ready-mounted on a wood base carrying a gravity-feed fuel tank. The
.36 cu. in. Baby Cyclone (bore and stroke *" x 13/16") pioneered the
use of the shaft rotary valve in model aircraft motors. It also differs
from the Brown in a number of other respects. The cylinder, for example,
is an iron casting with shrunk-on duralumin cooling fins and is secured
to the diecast crankcase by a base flange and two screws.
Bruce Underwood, Columbus, Ohio, owns largest collection, over 220
Most complicated production engine, .92 cu. in. Burgess M-5.
British G. S. Wizard, latest McCoy, supercharged Rowell (all 60's).
German .03 Star diesel, Cox Pee Wee, British Kalper .02 diesel.
Swiss Dyno .12 was first model "diesel."
Other popular engines of the mid-thirties. included Dan Bunch's .45
Gwin-Aero and Mighty-Midget, the G.H.Q. Loutrel and Forster Brothers'
not-so-little (nearly 1.0 cu. in.) Little Hercules. Both the Bunch engines
and the G.H.Q. were available as fully machined sets of parts or as
ready-assembled motors. The Gwin and MightyMidget were somewhat similar
to the Brown in general construction and were among the first quantity-produced
model engines to be fitted with piston rings. The Forster and G.H.Q.
were two of the very few model engines that survived to compete in the
From 1937 onwards, new engines began
reaching the U.S. market in increasing numbers. A young model builder
named Irwin Ohlsson began selling a new .55 motor with radial mounting
replacing the usual beam mount lugs and which, instead of having bypass
and intake passages brazed on, or integrally cast, used a two-piece
diecast manifold clamped around a plain machined cylinder. This, the
ancestor of the famed Ohlsson & Rice range, and later known as the
Gold Seal model, appeared, for 1938, with combined beam and radial mounting
lugs, a feature common to every O&R engine down to the present day.
All the Ohlsson engines, incidentally, were actually made by the Rice
Mfg. Company of San Gabriel, Calif., who also supplied the parts from
the James 60 motor of the same era.
From the 1940's - Vivell 35, Arden 099, Phantom P.30.
Winners of last 3 FAI free flight titles - British Oliver Tiger
(1955), Japanese O. S. Max 15 (1956), East German Schlosser 2.5
British H-P 24 spark ignition, ballbearing B.M.P. 21 diesel and
Allbon 17 diesel.
Elf-Four had .39 cu. in. total displacement, 9 oz. weight (a twin
and 6 cylinder were also made).
British Jensen 60 4-cycle of late 1940's.
Even during the busiest times of my life I have endeavored to maintain
some form of model building activity. This site has been created to help me chronicle my journey
through a lifelong involvement in model aviation, which
all began in Mayo, MD. There
is a lot of good information and there are lot
of pictures throughout the website that you will probably find useful, and might
even bring back some old memories from your own days of yore. The website began life around
1996 as an EarthLink screen name of ModelAirplanes, and quickly grew to where more server
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