Lawrance L-4

Lawrance L-4 aircraft engine at the New England Air Museum


Type:   3-cylinder, air-cooled, radial, piston
Displacement:   223 cu. in.
Weight:   147 lbs.
Power Output:   65 hp @ 2,000 rpm
NEAM Id:   160
Location:   Civil Hangar

On loan from the Chicago Museum of Science & Industry

The L-4 was part of a series of three-cylinder radial piston engines developed shortly after World War I which were designed and built by the Lawrance Aero Engine Company. After five years in existence, Lawrance Aero Engineering's limited production capacity motivated a merger, urged by the U.S. Navy, with the Wright Aeronautical. The The Navy was enthusiatic about air-cooled radial engines and they felt that Wright would be better be able to mass-produce the radial engines. Wright then marketed the L-4 as the “Gale.” It listed the outstanding features of Wright air-cooled engines as:

  • Being light-weight,
  • Giving high-performance,
  • Free from radiation troubles,
  • Best for flying in extreme hot or cold weather,
  • Increased flying time,
  • Decreased cost and weight of spare parts,
  • Quick starting in cold weather,
  • Decreased first cost and decreased upkeep and handling expenses

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