Aircraft Piston Engine Types

The aircraft piston engine serves as one of the most important aircraft engine types of the 20th century, powering countless early aircraft as we first reached the skies. Currently, a number of aircraft models still utilize piston parts for achieving propulsion, serving for training, business travel, and more. In this blog, we will provide a brief overview of the main types of aircraft piston engines, allowing you to better understand each.


The in-line piston or straight engine is similar to automobiles with its cylinders assembled in a line, and they were often used for early aircraft models. Due to the narrow construction of the engine, the nose of the aircraft could be constructed in a narrow shape as well to reduce drag. Despite this advantage, its piston parts require water-cooling due to a lack of airflow, and such engines often require more maintenance due to higher risks of failures.


The rotary aircraft piston engine is one that was developed during World War I, and it was designed so that the entire aircraft engine revolves alongside the propeller which improves its ability for air cooling. With a more bulky aircraft piston kit and assembly, the rotary piston engine is typically not used for commercial applications. Furthermore, the aircraft piston parts of the rotary engine often require significant maintenance knowledge, so finding a specialist is important to ensure that your engine continues to run smoothly and efficiently.


The V-type engine can be considered to be two in-line engines connected together, and such engines have also served automobiles such as ships and trains due to the power that they are capable of producing. While most V-type piston parts are cooled with water, sear power accommodates for the weight of the aircraft engine cooling system.


The radial piston engine features a more complicated design than the V-type aircraft piston engine, but it is able to produce propulsion more efficiently and smoothly. Generally, the construction of a radial engine consists of one or more cylinder rows that are placed around a central crankshaft in a circle. Due to their placement and the number of cranks per row, the radial piston engine touts a better power to weight ratio than some other piston engine types. Due to the arrangement of cylinders, airflow is also optimal for air cooling, allowing the aircraft engine to perform better.


The horizontally opposed piston engine is the final main aircraft piston engine type, and their cylinders are placed on two opposing sides of a crankcase. Due to the high reliability of their piston parts and performance, the horizontally opposed engine serves as one of the most popularly used piston engine types. With their construction, the engine can be either air or liquid cooled, as well as can operate with various types of fuel.


No matter the piston engine that you have on your aircraft, ASAP AOG can help you procure the piston engine mount kit components and aircraft piston parts that you need to carry out your operations with ease. ASAP AOG is a premier online distributor of aircraft parts and components, providing customers access to an unrivaled inventory of new, used, and obsolete items sourced from over 2 thousand top global manufacturers. We invite you to explore our robust catalogues at your leisure, and our team of industry experts are readily available to assist you through the purchasing process with competitive quotes and rapid lead-times 24/7x365.



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January 27, 2021

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