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- Author Léon Levavasseur, constructor
- Date of production 1908–1909
- Place of creation France
- Dimensions height: 60 cm, length: 110 cm, width: 55 cm, weight: 95 kg
- ID no. MLP 010/1
- Object copyright Polish Aviation Museum
- Digital images copyright public domain
- Digitalisation RDW MIC, Małopolska's Virtual Museums project
The French Antoinette V-8 made between 1908 and 1909 is the oldest aircraft engine from the collection at the Polish Aviation Museum in Kraków. It was designed by Léon Levasseur, who previously engineered engines for motor boats...more
The French Antoinette V-8 made between 1908 and 1909 is the oldest aircraft engine from the collection at the Polish Aviation Museum in Kraków. It was designed by Léon Levasseur, who previously engineered engines for motor boats.
Lėon Levasseur worked with the Antoinette company, which were involved in manufacturing various products, though with little success. The company was owned by Robert Gastambide, who named it after his daughter.
In 1903, Lavasseur engineered an engine that propelled motor boats. Four years later, he devoted himself to engineering airplanes. He decided to use an engine that had a technical specification based on those used in motor boats.
Antoinette V-8 was in many respects quite a modern, and at the same time, unconventional engine. It was an 8-cylinder V-shaped system with two banks of four cylinders. Its cooling system was based on the full evaporation of water in cylinders (“boiling” water on cylinders). The vapour generated was condensed by a system of long copper pipes installed on the plane fuselage. The fuel system consisted in injecting petrol into the suction channels of each cylinder separately.
The valve mechanism served the exhaust valve only; the suction system opened automatically during the suction stroke in the cylinder. The engine was quite cutting-edge, but unfortunately, unreliable. For that reason it gained little popularity among users.
The power of the V-8 engine with a volume of 8.0 l reached 65 HP at 1100 RPM.
The museum also has the fuselage of an Antoinette plane powered with the above-mentioned engine. The plane and engine control system are worthy of attention, too.
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