One of the longest production runs of a piston engine since World War II has been that of the Shvetsov ASh-62 nine-cylinder air-cooled radial, rated at 1,000 hp and used to power well over 10,000 examples of the Antonov An-2
Pratt & Whitney, still in business today as one of the world’s "big three" gas turbine makers, vied with Wright in the piston engine era. More than 10,000 Douglas DC-3 variants were P&W powered
One more classics - the Merlin-engined Hawker Hurricane made the single most important contribution to winning the Battle of Britain.
Despite the widescale development and production of gas turbine engines, the piston engine still reigns supreme for the smaller general aviation aircraft - such as these Beechcraft Bonanzas.
One more classics - the Rolls-Royce Merlin and the Supermarine Spitfire - provided a winning combination that served the RAF well throughout World War II.
The ultimate piston engine from Rolls-Royce, the Eagle, powered the Wyvern but was overtaken by gas turbine development.
Production of the Shvetsov ASh-62 nine-cylinder air-cooled radial was transferred from the Soviet Union to Poland in 1957 and it now also powers the PZL M-18 Dromader ag-plane.
Most early aero-engines were air cooled; to increase the flow of air past the cylinders, some, such as the Clerget in this Avro 504K, were designed to rotate, with the propeller, round a stationary crankshaft.
Between the wars, most American light aircraft used air-cooled radial engines, such as the 125 hp Warner (here, in a Cessna Model AW) and the Wright J-5
Between the wars, most American light aircraft used air-cooled radial engines, such as the 125 hp Warner and the Wright J-5 (here, in a Cessna Model CW-6).
For the past 40 years, the US engine manufacturers Continental and Lycoming have been in head-to-head competition as producers of flat-four and flat-six air-cooled units for light aircraft - such as, typically, the Piper Turbo Arrow III (here, with Continental)
The ARV Super2, now entering production in the UK, introduces a brand new piston engine - the liquid-cooled three-cylinder Hewland unit rated at 77 hp.
View of the ARV Super 2 in the air show its distinctive wing and the ventral position of the radiator for the new liquid-cooled Hewland engine
"B-BAKER" (первый из двух), предназначенный для британских ВВС, в сдаточном полете. Самолет поступил на вооружение 90-й эскадрильи и был потерян 4 июня 1941 года в результате возникшего на рулежке пожара.
The Wright company became a major supplier of piston aero-engines in the US before, during and for some years after World War II, but failed to maintain its place in the era of the gas turbine. Wright Cyclones powered thousands of Boeing B-17s
For the past 40 years, the US engine manufacturers Continental and Lycoming have been in head-to-head competition as producers of flat-four and flat-six air-cooled units for light aircraft - such as, typically, the Cessna Cardinal RG (here, with Lycoming).
A classic engine in a classic aeroplane - the de Havilland Gipsy in a D.H.60 Moth. The air-cooled four-cylinder in-line Gipsy was pre-eminent in British light aviation between the wars and provided the foundation for development of the Gipsy Queen, still serving today.