New 24-Cylinder Aero Engine


    AN air-cooled 24-cylinder aero engine, the Napier-Dagger, has just completed its 100-hour Air Ministry type test. It has already been flown for more than sixty hours in a Hawker Hart day bomber aeroplane, and took part in this year's R.A.F. display on June 30. The 24 cylinders are arranged in four blocks of six. Two blocks are set above and two below the crank-case, giving the engine the form of a letter H viewed from the front. This arrangement makes for compactness, especially in frontal area, which is about equal to that of a modern water-cooled engine of similar output. Thus the air-cooled engine gains to the extent of the head resistance of the radiators or such devices as are necessary for cooling the liquid in the other. Each pair of upper and lower cylinder blocks has a separate crank-shaft which transmits the power through gearing to the airscrew shaft. The reduction in this gearing allows the very high engine speed of 4,000 revolutions per minute, while the airscrew travels at such lower speeds as its efficiency demands. One of the most interesting features in the engine is the use of hydraulic impulses to operate the valve gear. This removes the need of rocker arms and also gives a quieter engine. The engine is supercharged to develop its maximum power of 705 h.p. at a height of 12,000 ft., and, at a cruising rate of 3,500 revolutions a minute, it yields 630 h.p. These are with standard fuels; much bigger outputs with ‘doped’ fuel and higher compression ratios are anticipated. A smaller version of this engine has been flying for some time. This has only 16 cylinders arranged in banks of four. It was known originally as the H engine and is now named the Rapier. The bigger engine makes the type fit for use in military aircraft.

    Rights and permissions

    Reprints and Permissions

    About this article

    Cite this article

    New 24-Cylinder Aero Engine. Nature 134, 18 (1934).

    Download citation


    By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.