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B2555 Aircraft engine, ABC Wasp No.1 experimental radial aero engine, 26N, No.44789, air cooled, 7 cylinders, 170 hp, 1900 rpm, steel and aluminium, developed during World War I, designed by Granville Bradshaw, made by Crossley Motors Ltd, Manchester, England, 1918. Click to enlarge.

ABC Wasp No.1 experimental radial aero aircraft engine designed by Granville Bradshaw

made
The ABC Wasp 1 experimental World War I aero engine was designed by the noted British engineer, Granville Bradshaw, and was one of the first large non-rotary air-cooled radial aircraft engines. It is one of only eight ABC Wasp engines made in England by Crossley Motors Ltd of Manchester. The engine was designed to be fitted to a number of fighter aircraft including the Avro 504K, Sopwith Snail and Westland Wagtail. This engine was fitted to the Westland Wagtail aircraft No C4291 which first flew in April 1918. Unfortunately, the Wasp engine was said to be unreliable and with the end of the First World War on 11 November further development was concluded.

This engine is part of the Museum's Barraclough Collection. Sir Henry Barraclough was Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Sydney and was interested in military engineering. He made trips to Europe to acquire stationary engines for the University, and several rare and significant examples have been preserved by the Museum since they became outdated for teaching purposes. During World War I Barraclough supervised a large contingent of Australian ammunition workers in Britain, and at the end of the war he had the foresight to acquire a group of aero engines made in several countries that had been parties to the conflict. This group, which includes this ABC Wasp 1, was later donated to the Museum and is significant as a record of the diversity of engine designs in the early days of powered flight.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ABC_Wasp

Prepared by N.L. Svensson October 2006, edited by Judith Campbell, MAAS volunteer, February 2017

Summary

Object No.

B2555

Object Statement

Aircraft engine, ABC Wasp No.1 experimental radial aero engine, 26N, No.44789, air cooled, 7 cylinders, 170 hp, 1900 rpm, steel and aluminium, developed during World War I, designed by Granville Bradshaw, made by Crossley Motors Ltd, Manchester, England, 1918

Physical Description

Aircraft engine, ABC Wasp No.1 experimental radial aero engine, 26N, No.44789, air cooled, 7 cylinders, 170 hp, 1900 rpm, steel and aluminium, developed during World War I, designed by Granville Bradshaw, made by Crossley Motors Ltd, Manchester, England, 1918

The ABC Wasp aircraft engine comprises a seven cylinder, single row, air-cooled radial engine designed to provide 170 hp at 1900 rpm. The cylinder assemblage was fixed relative to the aircraft fuselage while the propeller rotated with the crankshaft. The appearance of the engine is not significantly different from a rotary engine. Cam-driven push rods protrude from the crankcase in the front of the engine and actuate the inlet and exhaust valves in the cylinder head through rocker levers. Each cylinder has one large inlet valve and two smaller exhaust valves. The spring loaded inlet valve rod passed through the mixture transfer pipes at the rear of the engine. The rocker arm for the exhaust valves acted on a cross piece which connected with the valve rods to either side of each cylinder head. Exhaust pipes, which are joined to the ports, conveyed the products of combustion through the engine cowling.

The cylinders are steel forgings with integral heads while the cooling fins are coated with copper in an attempt to improve cooling. The pistons are of aluminium alloy. Two Claudel-Hobson H.C.8 carburettors and two magnetos are fitted.

In all radial engines, one of the connecting rods connected with the crankshaft in a conventional manner. This connecting rod was designated as the 'master rod' and the other connecting rods articulated with the master rod.

The engine operated on the four-stroke cycle where the air was first drawn through a carburettor then through the hollow crankshaft to an annular chamber behind the crankcase and finally to the engine cylinders. A magneto fired the spark plugs mounted on the side of each cylinder. Ignition occurred in alternate cylinders, in the sequence 1, 3, 5, 7, 2, 4, 6, during each engine revolution.
Specifications
Height: 1050 mm
Length: 1000 mm
Depth: 750 mm
Cylinder diameter: 115 mm
Piston stroke: 150 mm
Weight: 290 lbs (131.5kg)
Compression ratio: 4.05:1

Marks

ABC ENGINE TYPE WASP No1
FIRING ORDER 1,3,5,7,2,4,6
MANUFACTURED BY CROSSLEY MOTORS Ltd
'AID' 26N and 'A 44789'

Dimensions

Height

1050 mm

Width

1000 mm

Depth

750 mm

Production

Notes

Although this experimental engine was designed by Granville Bradshaw, chief engineer of ABC Motors Ltd (All British (Engine) Company of Hersham, Surrey, England, it was manufactured in 1918 by Crossley Motors Ltd, based in Manchester, England. Eight engines were manufactured by Crossley Motors Ltd and another thirty six by other manufacturers.

ABC had its beginnings when Walter Lawson Adams made small boats in Southampton, England, and later moved into the production of motor cycles. In 1909 he changed the name of his company to the All British (Engine) Company. Granville Eastwood Bradshaw was involved with the early pioneers of flight and was an expert on stressing. He had designed the Star aircraft and on leaving that company joined ABC as Chief Engineer to design their aero engines. Although their experimental engines were very advanced they were plagued with problems and did not live up to their promise. He was awarded an OBE for his efforts during World War I. After the war Granville Bradshaw concentrated on the design of motor cycles and the company resumed their manufacture. Subsequent reorganisations of the company led to Bradshaw becoming a consultant in 1920 which allowed him to sell his designs to other companies. His biggest seller was patents for gambling machines but he lost all the money he made in subsequent business deals. Although he produced many designs and inventions few achieved commercial success.
http://www.gracesguide.co.uk/All_British_(Engine)_Co
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ABC_Motors
http://www.gracesguide.co.uk/Granville_Bradshaw
Prepared by N.L. Svensson October 20

History

Notes

The engine is one of a group acquired by Professor Sir Henry Barraclough at the end of World War 1 for educational use by the University of Sydney, the group is one of the world's best collections of early 20th century aero engines. It was lent to the Museum by the University of Sydney's Department of Mechanical Engineering in December 1943 and donated in August 1983.

Source

Credit Line

Presented by the University of Sydney, 1983

Acquisition Date

16 August 1983

Cite this Object

Harvard

ABC Wasp No.1 experimental radial aero aircraft engine designed by Granville Bradshaw 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 5 March 2021, <https://ma.as/213314>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/213314 |title=ABC Wasp No.1 experimental radial aero aircraft engine designed by Granville Bradshaw |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=5 March 2021 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}