Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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Unusual Radials

The 5-cylinder Morton-Burgess M-5 pictured right, was massproduced from 1946 to 1948. It sold for about $75.00 and ran well but could not hold a candle to the more powerful 2-strokes of that era. In the August, 1955 issue of Model Airplane News, Peter Chinn touched on the M-5 in a fascinating article devoted to rare and exotic engines. Commenting on the M-5, he noted that it had a displacement of .92 ci, weighed 22 ounces and was based upon the 85 hp LeBlond 5D aircraft engine. It was a very complex engine with many parts. Radials have always captured the imagination of modelers and the other three examples on this page certainly illustrate why. Scratch building a model airplane is one thing, but creating your own radial from scratch? We take our hats off to those who designed and built these amazing radials. 

Eighteen-cylinder twin row miniature built in the 1990s by Lee Hodgson, Cincinnati, OH. It has a one-inch bore and 11/8-inch stroke. Photo from the private collection of Frank Gudaitis
Nine-cylinder engine built by Paul Daniels, Milville, NJ, circa 1970. Photo from the private collection of Frank Gudaitis
Five-cylinder scratch built 4-stroke gas engine built by Charles Schiller, L.I., NY, in 1984. Photo from the private collection of Frank Gudaitis