New England Air Museum
Wright Aeronautical R-1820-45 Cyclone


Gift of Edmund L. Robinson


The Wright R-1820 Cyclone was introduced in 1930 and was developed from earlier Cyclone engines of the 1920's. Wright had been manufacturing both air- and water-cooled engines and in the 1930's decided to concentrate their efforts on the R-1820 and stopped development of all other engines except the Cyclone. The Cyclone became a top-flight engine and versions were produced into the 1950's by several companies under license including Studebaker, Lycoming, and Pratt & Whitney. They were also built in the Soviet Union as the M-25 and in Spain as the Hispano-Suiza 9V.

Over its development lifespan, power was increased from 575 hp to up 1,525 hp. It powered many military and civilian aircraft, but is best known as the engine that powered the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress in World War II. Versions of the R-1820 powered such other aircraft as:

  • Boeing 307/C-75
  • Brewster F2A Buffalo
  • Curtiss SBC-4 Helldiver, SC-1 Seahawk
  • Douglas A-33
  • Douglas DC-2, DC-3B, DC-5, SBD Dauntless
  • Grumman FM-2 Wildcat, F3F, HU-16 Albatross, J2F Duck, S-2 Tracker
  • Lockheed Model 14 Super Electra, A-28 Hudson
  • Martin B-10
  • North American O-47, P-64, T-28B/C/D Trojan
  • Piasecki H-21
  • Sikorsky H-34/S-58

This engine is located in the Civilian Hangar on the wall near the Waco YKC-S.

If you have any information, comments on, or recollections of the Wright R-1820 Cyclone, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Type: 9-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled, radial piston engine
Displacement: 1,823 cu. in.
Weight: 1,184 lbs.
Power Output: 900 hp
NEAM Id:: 31


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