by: Stephen T. Lawson [ ]
HistoryLeRhône was the name given to a series of popular rotary type engines produced in France by Societe et LeRhône and the successor company of Gnome et Rhône. They powered a number of military aircraft types of the World War I. Le Rhône engines were also produced under license worldwide.
Although not powerful (the largest wartime version produced 130 horsepower (97 kW)), they were dependable rotary engines. The LeRhône 9 was a development of the LeRhône 7, a seven-cylinder design. Examples of LeRhône engines are on public display in the Fr4ench aviation museum with several remaining airworthy, powering vintage aircraft types.
The copper induction tubes had their crankcase ends located in different places on the 80 and 110 horsepower (60 and 82 kW) versions – the 80 hp versions had them entering the crankcase in a location forward of the vertical centerline of each cylinder, while the 110 hp version had them located behind the cylinder's centerline. This resulted in the 80 hp version's intake plumbing being "fully visible" from the front, while the 110 hp version had the lower ends of its intake tubes seemingly "hidden" behind the cylinders.
A complicated slipper bearing system was used in the Le Rhône engine. The master rod was of a split-type, which permitted assembly of the connecting rods. It also employed three concentric grooves, designed to accept slipper bearings from the other cylinders. The other connecting rods used inner-end bronze shoes, which were shaped to fit in the grooves. The master rod was numbered as number one and the shoes of numbers two, five and eight rode in the outer groove, the shoes of three, six and nine in the middle groove and four and seven in the inner groove. Although this system was complex, the LeRhône engines worked very well.
The Le Rhône engines used an unconventional valve actuation system, with a single centrally-pivoting rocker arm moving the exhaust valve and the intake valve. When the arm moved down it opened the intake valve and when it moved up it opened the exhaust value. To make this system work a two-way push-pull rod was fitted, instead of the more conventional one-way pushrod. This feature required the cam followers to incorporate a positive action, a function designed in by using a combination of links and levers. This design functioned but it did prevent the incorporation of valve overlap which limits power output. Due to the structural and cooling limitations of the overall engine design the LeRhône engines produced as much power as they were capable of. (history modified from Wikipeda.)
Kit contentsJohn Roll of Roll Models was very kind. He selflessly and on his own offered this review kit.
43 total parts
10 air induction pipes
10 rocker arm / pushrod assemblies (these are amazing for this scale).
applicationsIt can be used for the following aircraft:
When contacting manufacturers and publishers please mention you saw this review at AEROSCALE