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Engines // 80hp Le Rhône 9C aero engine

My illustrations here show various views of the Le Rhône 9C nine-cylinder rotary aircraft engine produced in France by Société des Moteurs Le Rhône / Gnome et Rhône.

Also known as the Le Rhône 80 hp in a reference to its nominal power rating, the engine was fitted to a number of military aircraft types of the First World War. Le Rhône 9C engines were also produced under license in Germany, United States, Sweden and Great Britain by various companies, and in the United States. The Swedish version built by AB Thulinverken was designated Thulin A. German production and development was carried out by Oberursel Moterwerken as the UR.I.

In common with other Le Rhône series engines, the 9C featured highly visible telescopic copper induction pipes and used a single push-pull rod to operate its two overhead valves.

Examples of Le Rhône 9C engines are on view in aviation museums either installed in aircraft exhibits or as stand-alone displays. A few examples of the 9C engine remain airworthy both in Europe and North America, one powering a vintage Sopwith Pup biplane in England, and a small number of others having powered reproduction WW I-era aircraft at Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome and other American "living" aviation museums that fly their restored original engines in both similarly restored original, and airworthy reproduction period aircraft.


General characteristics
Type: Nine-cylinder, single-row rotary engine
Bore: 105 mm (4.13 in)
Stroke: 140 mm (5.51 in)
Displacement: 10.89 L (664.47 cu in)
Diameter: 94.5 cm (37.2 in)
Dry weight: 121.5 kg (268 lb)


Valvetrain: Cam-operated single rocker for both inlet and exhaust valves
Oil system: Castor oil, total loss
Cooling system: Air-cooled

Power output: 92 hp (68.6 kW) at 1,300 rpm (maximum)
Compression ratio: 4.5:1

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