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The huge, 24-cylinder engine, with 4 cylinders arranged in six rows, attracts the attention of the unusually rich exhibition of aircraft engines at the Aviation Museum in Krakow: this system can be called a “double W”. For many years, it has been a very mysterious museum exhibit.

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The huge, 24-cylinder engine, with 4 cylinders arranged in six rows, attracts the attention of the unusually rich exhibition of aircraft engines at the Aviation Museum in Krakow: this system can be called a “double W”. For many years, it has been a very mysterious museum exhibit. At the beginning, it was only possible to determine that it was a German engine, probably from the late 1920s. It was also difficult to say for what purpose it was constructed, what it was supposed to drive.
Initially, it was even assumed that it was a motor for propelling a small ship, a warship, or a diesel locomotive. No book publications dealing with the history of German air engines described this propulsion. Finally, after a few years, this mystery was solved.
The engine turned out to be an extremely interesting machine for air propulsion.
The Treaty of Versailles of 1919 imposed many harsh restrictions on Germany, also related to the development of military technology, including aviation. As a result of its provisions, the Germans were not allowed to work on multi-engine airplanes, including passenger aircraft.
That is why they tried to avoid this restriction and, in the mid-1920s, began the construction of a large passenger plane, but powered by one engine. The development of this venture was undertaken by D. Riedel, who was working at Argus plants. The engine was built and tested on a dynamometer. It was heavy; it weighed about 1100 kg, but, at that time, it provided enormous power, reaching about 1500 hp at 1,800 revolutions per minute. 
The tests went no further than land trials, because the global economic crisis had caused the cessation of work on the plane during the design phase. The engine has been forgotten for many years.


Elaborated by Polish Aviation Museum, © all rights reserved

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