New Britain Machine Hodge Differential Rotary

New Britain Machine Hodge Differential Rotary aircraft engine at the New England Air Museum


Type:   18-cylinder, 2-row, air-cooled, differential-geared, rotary, piston
Displacement:   904 cu. in
Power Output:   320 hp
NEAM Id:   152
Location:   Connector between the Military and Civil Hangars

George Hodge, Chief Engineer of the New Britain Machine Company, built this 320 hp engine when the U.S. participated in World War I.

In rotary engines, the engine and propeller rotate together while the shaft remains fixed to the aircraft structure. This combination acts a huge gyroscope that makes an aircraft turn easier to the left than to the right. Hodge reduced the gyroscopic effect by having the propeller rotate at 1,500 revolutions per minute in the opposite rotation from the engine rotation which was 500 rpm.

It is a two row engine of 18 cylinders to make it the most powerful rotary at that time.

Stuart and Brian Bailey refurbished this rare engine as well as the operating display.

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36 Perimeter Rd., Windsor Locks, CT, 06096