Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Catalog Data

Designer:
Le Rhone (France)  Search this
Distributor:
Societe des Moteurs Gnome et Rhône  Search this
Manufacturer:
Union Switch and Signal Company (Swissvale, Pennsylvania)  Search this
Materials:
Metal
Dimensions:
3-D: 109 × 97cm (42 15/16 × 38 3/16 in.)
Type:
PROPULSION-Reciprocating & Rotary
Country of Origin:
United States of America
Date:
Circa World War I
Physical Description:
Type: Rotary, 9 cylinders, air-cooled
Power rating: 60 kw (80hp) at 1,200rpm
Displacement: 10.9 L (664.29 cu. in.)
Bore and Stroke: 105 mm (4.13 in) x 140 mm (5.51 in)
Weight: 115 kg (253 lb)
Summary:
Societe des Moteurs Le Rhone of Paris began manufacturing air cooled rotary engines in 1910. Its rotary was sufficiently different than that first developed by the highly successful Seguin brothers of the Societe des Moteurs Gnome, also of Paris, that it circumvented relevant Gnome patents; but was taken over by Gnome in 1914. Because Le Rhone products were in some ways superior to Gnome, its design engineers were permitted to continue development during World War I, resulting in large scale production of various nine cylinder engines.
During the World War I era, this engine was also produced in the United States by the Union Switch and Signal Company. Used mainly on fighter aircraft where speed and maneuverability were especially important, rotary engines were light and compact for their power. The Le Rhone Model 9C was used on Nieuport, Ruchonnet, Hanriot, Bleriot-SPAD, Morane, Sopwith, Farman, Caudron, and Voisin I aircraft.
Credit Line:
Exchange with Cole Palen
Inventory Number:
A19790541000
Restrictions & Rights:
CC0
See more items in:
National Air and Space Museum Collection
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/nv90dab2705-4385-434e-bbad-9c3fd40dbe05
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nasm_A19790541000