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W engine

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Napier Lion W12 aircraft engine (circa 1930)
Napier Lion W12 aircraft engine (circa 1930)

A W engine is a type of piston engine where three or four cylinder banks use the same crankshaft, resembling the letter W when viewed from the front.[1][2][3]

W engines with three banks of cylinders are also called "broad arrow" engines, due to their shape resembling the British government broad arrow property mark.[1][4]

W engines are less common than V engines. Compared with a V engine, a W engine is typically shorter and wider.

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W3 engines

1906 Anzani 3-cylinder motorcycle engine
1906 Anzani 3-cylinder motorcycle engine

One of the first W engines was the Anzani 3-cylinder, built in 1906, to be used in Anzani motorcycles. It is this W3 engine which also powered the 1909 Blériot XI, the first airplane to fly across the English Channel.

The Feuling W3 is a 2.5 L (153 cu in) motorcycle engine that was built by an aftermarket parts company in the United States in the early 2000s.[5] Like radial aircraft engines it has a master connecting rod and two slave rods connected to the pistons.[6]

W6 engines

The Rumpler Tropfenwagen had a Siemens and Halske-built[7] 2,580 cc (157 cu in) overhead valve W6 engine, with three banks of paired cylinders, all working on a common crankshaft.[7][8]

W8 engines

The sole W8 engine to reach production is the Volkswagen Group W8 engine automotive engine, which used a four-bank design and was produced from 2001-2004.

W12 engines

W12 engines with three banks of four cylinders were used by several aircraft engines from 1917 until the 1930s. A three-bank W12 design was also used unsuccessfully by the Life F1 team in the 1990 Formula One season, failing to qualify at every race.

Although less commonly used in automobiles than V12 engines, a W12 petrol engine has been produced by Volkswagen Group since 2001. This four-bank engine—based on two VR6 engines with a common crankshaft—has been used in various cars sold under the Audi, Bentley and Volkswagen brands.

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W16 engines

W16 engines are rarely produced, with the notable exception of the Volkswagen Group 8.0 WR16 engine that has been used since 2005. The W16 type of engine can also be found in the Bugatti Veyron, Chiron, Divo and their related models.[9]

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W18 engines

Operation of a three-bank W engine
Operation of a three-bank W engine

The W18 layout is rarely used, with the only production examples being several aircraft during the 1920s and 1930s, and CRM Motori SpA marine engines.

W24 engine

The Allison V-3420, manufactured by the Allison Engine Company, is an example of a W24 engine.

W30 engine

The Chrysler A57 multibank, essentially five 250.6 cu in (4.1 L) Chrysler flathead engines driving one output shaft through a gear train, saw action during World War II. Developed in 1941, it would be used inside variants of the M3 Lee and M4 Sherman tanks, all deployed on the Western Front.[10] The A57 is the only example of a five-bank W configuration.

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Chrysler A57 multibank

Chrysler A57 multibank

The Chrysler A57 Multibank is a 30-cylinder 1,253 cu in (20.5 L) engine that was created in 1941 as America entered World War II. It consists of five banks of inline-6 cylinder engines. It was born out of the necessity for a rear-mounted tank engine to be developed and produced in the shortest time possible for use in the M3A4 Lee medium tank and its successor M4A4 Sherman medium tank. Each had lengthened hulls to accommodate the A57.

Chrysler flathead engine

Chrysler flathead engine

The Chrysler flathead engine is a flathead automotive engine manufactured by the Chrysler Corporation from 1924 through the early 1960s. The flathead engine came in four-,six, and eight-cylinder configurations and varying displacement, with both a cast iron and cast aluminum cylinder head. It was installed in Chrysler, DeSoto, Dodge and Plymouth branded vehicles.

World War II

World War II

World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global conflict that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries, including all of the great powers, fought as part of two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. Many participants threw their economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind this total war, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. Aircraft played a major role, enabling the strategic bombing of population centres and the delivery of the only two nuclear weapons ever used in war.

M3 Lee

M3 Lee

The M3 Lee, officially Medium Tank, M3, was an American medium tank used during World War II. The turret was produced in two forms, one for US needs and one modified to British requirements to place the radio next to the commander. In British Commonwealth service, the tank was called by two names: tanks employing US pattern turrets were called "Lee," named after Confederate general Robert E. Lee, while those with British pattern turrets were known as "Grant," named after Union general Ulysses S. Grant.

M4 Sherman

M4 Sherman

The M4 Sherman, officially Medium Tank, M4, was the most widely used medium tank by the United States and Western Allies in World War II. The M4 Sherman proved to be reliable, relatively cheap to produce, and available in great numbers. It was also the basis of several other armored fighting vehicles including self-propelled artillery, tank destroyers, and armored recovery vehicles. Tens of thousands were distributed through the Lend-Lease program to the British Commonwealth and Soviet Union. The tank was named by the British after the American Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman.

Western Front (World War II)

Western Front (World War II)

The Western Front was a military theatre of World War II encompassing Denmark, Norway, Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. The Italian front is considered a separate but related theater. The Western Front's 1944–1945 phase was officially deemed the European Theater by the United States, whereas Italy fell under the Mediterranean Theater along with North Africa. The Western Front was marked by two phases of large-scale combat operations. The first phase saw the capitulation of Luxembourg, Netherlands, Belgium, and France during May and June 1940 after their defeat in the Low Countries and the northern half of France, and continued into an air war between Germany and Britain that climaxed with the Battle of Britain. The second phase consisted of large-scale ground combat, which began in June 1944 with the Allied landings in Normandy and continued until the defeat of Germany in May 1945.

Source: "W engine", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2022, June 27th),

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See also
  1. ^ a b Domonoske, Arthur Boquer; Finch, Volney Cecil (1936). Aircraft engines: theory, analysis, design, and operation (Engineering textbook). J. Wiley & Sons. p. 7. Retrieved 2014-04-25. The W, or broad arrow engine, has three rows of cylinders of which the central row is vertical with the other two rows forming equal angles with the vertical.
  2. ^ Taylor, Charles Fayette (1985) [1968]. The Internal-combustion Engine in Theory and Practice: Combustion, fuels, materials, design. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. ISBN 0-262-70027-1. LCCN 84028885. Retrieved 2013-12-17. W engine is similar to a V engine but with three banks of cylinders. The two V angles are usually equal.
  3. ^ Rajput, R. K. (December 2005). Internal Combustion Engines. New Delhi, India: Laxmi Publications. ISBN 817008637X. Retrieved 2013-12-17. W-engine Same as V-engine except with three banks of cylinders on the same crankshaft.
  4. ^ "The New Sunbeam Overhead Valve Type Engines", Aviation Week and Space Technology, McGraw-Hill, vol. 3, p. 32, 1917
  5. ^ "About Us". Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  6. ^ "Make Mine a Triple: The Feuling W3". Interlink Media. October 2000. Retrieved 31 December 2009.
  7. ^ a b Wise, David Burgess (1974). "Rumpler: One Aeroplane which Never Flew". In Tom Northey (ed.). World of Automobiles. Vol. 17. London: Orbis. p. 1964.
  8. ^ Rogliatti, Gianni (1973). Cyril Posthumus (ed.). Period Cars. Feltham, Middlesex, UK: Hamlyn. pp. 108–109. ISBN 0-600-33401-5.
  9. ^ "What is the W16 Engine? | Bugatti W16". Bugatti Broward. Retrieved 2021-10-22.
  10. ^ Popular Science, February 1944, p.7.,M1

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