A machine which produces power to do work, particularly one that converts heat into mechanical work.

Diesel Engine
An internal-combustion engine in which the fuel is injected into the cylinder near the end of the compression stroke and is ignited by the heat of the compressed air in the cylinder.

Four-Stroke Engine
An engine operating on a cycle which is completed in four strokes, or two revolutions of the crankshaft.

Gas Turbine
A turbine driven by the expansion of burning fuel.

Internal Combustion Engine
Any engine, either reciprocating or rotary, in which the fuel is consumed in the interior of the engine rather than outside of the engine.

Petrol Engine
An internal-combustion engine in which the fuel is petrol that is drawn or injected into the cylinder along with air and ignited with an electric spark.

Radial Engine
An engine with a number of cylinder arranged in a circle around the crankshaft centre line.

Steam Engine
An engine that uses steam to produce useful work.

Steam Turbine
A turbine driven by steam expansion through the blades of the turbine.

Stirling Engine
An external combustion engine.

Tesla Turbine
A rotary engine consisting of multiple ported disks where high velocity gases enter tangentially through a wide nozzle at the periphery of the disks.

Two-Stroke Engine
An internal-combustion engine that has one power stroke per revolution.

V Engine
Two or more cylinders arranged such that they form the shape of a V when looking along the line of the crankshaft.
Wankel Engine
A rotary engine with a rotor rotating in an oval cylinder. Named after it′s designer Felix Wankel.

Historical Notes

  1. 50BC Steam engine invented by Heron of Alexandria.
  2. 1705 Thomas Newcomen invents a steam engine which uses both atmospheric pressure and low-pressure steam to pump water out of mines.
  3. 1769 Watt invented the modern steam engine.
  4. 1769 Cugnot's carriage is the first large steam tractor. It was slow, clumsy and difficult to control.
  5. 1774 James Watt moves to Birmingham and enters a partnership with Matthew Boulton, designing and manufacturing steam engines for customers.
  6. 1803 Richard Trevithick constructs the first steam locomotive.
  7. 1816 Scottish clergyman, Robert Stirling invents the ststirling engine.
  8. 1824 The French physicist Nicholas Leonard Sadi Carnot publishes his book Reflexions sur la Puissance Motrice du Feu. This links work and heat, defines work and gets close to the second law of thermodynamics. It also proposes the idea of the internal combustion engine.
  9. 1877 Four stroke internal combustion engine invented by Nikolaus Otto.
  10. 1892 Diesel engine invented by Rudolf Diesel.
  11. 1930 Jet engine invented by Frank Whittle.
  12. 1957 First working prototype Wankel engine was run at the NSU research and development dept.

See also: Drivetrain, Engine Bay, Engine Configurations, Engine Oil, Engine Tuning, Gearbox, Generator Set, Heavy Duty Engine, Idle, Internal Combustion Engine, Jet Engine, Light Duty Engine, Otto Cycle, Peak Torque, Sleeve Valve Engine, Stirling Engine, Sump, Tesla Turbine, Thermal Efficiency, Two-Stroke Engine, Wankel Engine.

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Subjects: Automotive Engines

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