In-Box Review
LeRhône 9C 80hp
France's little power house
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by: Stephen T. Lawson [ JACKFLASH ]

LeRhône 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 contents
John Roll of Roll Models was very kind. He selflessly and on his own offered this review kit.
Resin engine
43 total parts
10 cylinders
12 sparkplugs
10 air induction pipes
10 rocker arm / pushrod assemblies (these are amazing for this scale).
01 crankcase

It can be used for the following aircraft:
Bristol Scout
Caudron G.III
Morane-Saulnier G
Morane-Saulnier H
Morane-Saulnier L
Morane-Saulnier N
Morane-Saulnier P
Nieuport 10
Nieuport 11
Nieuport 21
R.A.F. F.E.8
Sopwith Pup
Thomas-Morse S-4

When contacting manufacturers and publishers please mention you saw this review at AEROSCALE
Highs: Highly detailed very buildable. Well detailed instructions.
Lows: The rear support and magnetos has not been moulded.
Verdict: This appears to be a very good 1:72 drop-in replacement for many of the kits on the market plastic or resin.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:72
  Mfg. ID: #72102
  Suggested Retail: $9.25
  Related Link: Website
  PUBLISHED: Aug 26, 2013

Our Thanks to Roll Models!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Stephen T. Lawson (JackFlash)

I was building Off topic jet age kits at the age of 7. I remember building my first WWI kit way back in 1964-5 at the age of 8-9. Hundreds of 1/72 scale Revell and Airfix kits later my eyes started to change and I wanted to do more detail. With the advent of DML / Dragon and Eduard I sold off my ...

Copyright ©2021 text by Stephen T. Lawson [ JACKFLASH ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


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