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2008/103/1 Sarich orbital car engine, 'orbital combustion process', three-cylinder, two-stroke, 1.2 litre, type XM, serial No.614, internal combustion engine, metal / plastic, invented by Ralph Sarich, 1972, designed and made by Orbital Engine Company, Perth, Western Australia, Australia, 1980. Click to enlarge.

‘Orbital combustion process’ car engine

Made in Perth, Western Australia, Australia, 1980.

Perth inventor Ralph Sarich achieved fame by patenting a rotary engine that never went into production. Sarich and his engine captured the public imagination when the ABC television program ‘The Inventors’ selected him as ‘Inventor of the Year’ for 1972. In this engine a single piston moved in an orbital fashion within its housing, creating multiple combustion chambers without the stresses inherent in earlier rotary engines. It promised improved fuel efficiency and clean emissions at a time when...

Summary

Object No.

2008/103/1

Object Statement

Sarich orbital car engine, 'orbital combustion process', three-cylinder, two-stroke, 1.2 litre, type XM, serial No.614, internal combustion engine, metal / plastic, invented by Ralph Sarich, 1972, designed and made by Orbital Engine Company, Perth, Western Australia, Australia, 1980

Physical Description

This is an early-injection stratified-charge petrol engine with 1.2 litre displacement, type XM, number 614. Three in-line cylinders sit vertically above a common crank and are surmounted by a pneumatic direct injector. The injector and combustion chamber geometry ensure rapid mixing and turbulent combustion. Lubrication, ignition timing and exhaust scavenging are controlled electronically.

Marks

'Orbital' and the company's logo on the front panel of the engine control unit.
'Orbital-Walbro' and Orbital and Walbro logos on the air/fuel injection rail.
'IC reg built in/ Mitsubishi Electric Corporation' on metal plate attached to the alternator.
XM614 (engine type and serial number), 28-10-80 (build date) and Orbital logo cast into metal parts.

Dimensions

Height

580 mm

Width

550 mm

Depth

520 mm

Production

Notes

The engine was designed and made at the headquarters of the Orbital Corporation at Balcatta in Western Australia. Ralph Sarich founded the company with his concept for a rotary engine. Kim Schlunke, first as executive director of engineering and later as chief executive officer, headed the team that developed a range of engines incorporating Sarich's 'orbital combustion process'.

The Orbital Engine Company (Australia) Pty Ltd was formed in 1973 as a joint venture between Sarich Technologies Ltd and the Broken Hill Proprietary Co Ltd. Sarich Technologies Ltd changed its name to Orbital Engine Corporation Limited in 1990 and to Orbital Corporation Limited in 2004.

History

Notes

The engine was tested for about 600 hours as part of the company's extensive research, development and demonstration program. In Australia, similar engines were tested in cars as part of the Genesis trial, and 100 were trialled in Ford Fiestas in Europe.

Source

Credit Line

Gift of Orbital Corporation, 2008

Acquisition Date

21 May 2008

Cite this Object

Harvard

'Orbital combustion process' car engine 2019, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 19 August 2019, <https://ma.as/379123>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/379123 |title='Orbital combustion process' car engine |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=19 August 2019 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}
This object is currently on display in Store 3 at the Museums Discovery Centre.

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