Rotary Engine Gallery - Click on picture to enlarge  

100 hp Gnome

In order to maintain 100% authenticity, TAVAS had a 100hp Gnome Rotary engine built to fit to the Fokker E.III Eindecker. The work was done by Tony Wytenburg of Classic Aero Machining Service (CAMS), in Blenheim NZ.

Tony has stripped an original Gnome and generated CAD drawings from that.  From those manufactured new engines as close as possible to the original – this was no small undertaking. There were some significant engineering challenges associated with this, which Tony identified and has come up with modern day fixes to a 90 plus year old design.

Known issues include the concern that some of the original ball bearing sizes are no longer available. So standard off-the-shelf bearings were be used, and modifications made to suit those.  Other changes were the use of aluminium pistons and modern ring combinations instead of the cast iron used in the originals.

Tony has a proven track record with the re-manufacture of the first RAF 1a engine, which was in turn, the first WW-I aero engine to be built new to operational condition, anywhere in the world, since the Great War period.

So the end result is a brand new, almost 100 year old rotary aero engine, embodying the looks, sound, smell and the torque of the original. 

160 hp Gnome

To keep the Fokker D.VIII Flying Razor completely authentic, we have fitted it with an original 160 hp Gnome rotary engine.

This engine supposedly was originally used in a French aircraft at the end of the war and purchased as surplus, post war, by a guy who fitted it to an airboat. Apparently it was only run a few times and was found in his barn still attached to a wooden boat hull when the new owner purchased it.

It was crated and shipped with most of the ancillaries (apart from a tampier which Tony Wytenburg had to reproduce), and tools needed to work on this engine and get it running. It was stripped down and inspected by TAVAS engineers Dave Walsh and David Claes and it has obviously been very well looked after and is in great condition.

More details about both these engines can be found in issue 9 of the comprehensive TAVAS newsletters, available free to members.  –    To Become a Member - CLICK HERE   ,