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Engines // Hispano-Suiza V8 aero engine

My illustrations here show various views of the Hispano-Suiza 8 was a water-cooled V8 SOHC aero engine introduced by Hispano-Suiza in 1914, and the most commonly used engine in the aircraft of the Entente Powers during the First World War. The original Hispano-Suiza 8A was rated at 140 hp (100 kW) and the later Hispano-Suiza 8F reached 330 hp (250 kW).
Hispano-Suiza 8 engines and variants produced by Hispano-Suiza and other companies under licence were built in twenty-one factories in Spain, France, Britain, Italy, and the U.S.[1] Derivatives of the engine were also used abroad to power numerous aircraft types and the engine can be considered as the ancestor of another successful engine by the same designer, the Hispano-Suiza 12Y (and Soviet Klimov V12 derivative aero-engines) which served in the Second World War.

Design and development
At the beginning of the First World War the production lines of the Barcelona based Hispano-Suiza automobile and engine company were switched to the production of war materiel. Chief engineer Marc Birkigt led work on an aircraft engine based on his successful V8 automobile engine. The resulting engine, called the Hispano-Suiza 8A (HS-31), made its first appearance in February 1915.

The first 8A kept the standard configuration of Birkigt's existing design: eight cylinders in 90° Vee configuration, a displacement of 11.76 litres (717.8 cu in) and a power output of 140 hp at 1,900 rpm. In spite of the similarities with the original design, the engine had been substantially refined. The crankshaft was machined from a solid piece of steel. The cylinders were cast aluminium with steel liners. The SOHC cylinder heads were also made of aluminium, using a rotary driveshaft (tower gear) coming up from the crankcase along the rear end of each cylinder bank, with the final drive for each cylinder bank's camshaft accommodated within a semicircular bulge at the rear end of each valve cover. Aluminium parts were coated in vitreous enamel to reduce leakage. All parts subject to wear, and those critical for engine ignition were duplicated: spark plugs for dual ignition reliability, valve springs, magnetos, etc.

Engine reliability and power to weight ratios were major problems in early aviation. The engine and its accessories weighed 185 kg (408 lb), making it 40% lighter than a rotary engine of equivalent power. French officials ordered production of the 8A to be started as soon as possible and issued a requirement for a new single-seat high-performance fighter aircraft using the new engine. The Louis Béchereau-designed SPAD VII was the result of this requirement and allowed the Allies to regain air superiority over the Germans.

Specifications (Hispano-Suiza 8a) 

General characteristics
Type: 8-cylinder liquid-cooled Vee piston engine
Bore: 120 mm (4.724 in)
Stroke: 130 mm (5.118 in)
Displacement: 11.76 L (717.77 in3)
Dry weight: 202 kg (445 lb) 


Valvetrain: SOHC (single overhead cam)
Fuel system: 1 Claudel or Zenith Carburetor
Cooling system: liquid

Power output:
150 hp (112 kW) at 1,700 rpm
Fuel consumption: 310 g/(kW•h) (0.51 lb/(hp•h))
Oil consumption: 18.2 g/(kW•h) (0.03 lb/(hp•h))

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