WRIGHT R-1820 "CYCLONE" RADIAL ENGINE
- Wright R-1820 "Cyclone" Engine from a B-17 Flying Fortress Heavy Bomber, Wright Aeronautical Corp, ca 1931.
- metal, glass
The Wright "Cyclone" R-1820, designated "R" for radial, and 1820 for displacing 1820 ci, had 9 large cylinders radiating out from a propeller shaft like the spokes of a wheel. A piston moved toward this hub, while at the same time the cylinder filled with 201 cubic inches of air mixed with gasoline, which was in turn fired by two spark plugs. The heat was then carried away by cooling fins, similar to those found on a lawnmower. Developed in the early 1930s as a descendant of the R-1750, it powered many famous aircraft, most notably the B-17 Flying Fortress.
The Curtiss-Wright Corporation was formed in 1929 from the merger of Wright Aeronautical and the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company. Curtiss-Wright had three main divisions; Wright Aeronautical, which manufactured engines; Curtiss-Wright Airplane, which produced civil aircraft; and the Airplane division, which produced the military aircraft.