Sleeve-valve engines

From:         wohlsen@sri.com
Organization: SRI International
Date:         01 Mar 94 01:32:04 PST
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  What ever became of the 2- and 4-stroke sleeve-valve engine technology
developed in the '30s and used extensively by Bristol and Rolls-Royce in radial
and inline aircraft engines.  (I don't know of any airliner that employed the
engines but the SeaFury was powered by a 4-stroke radial sleeve-valve engine
called the Hercules made by Bristol.)  I believe Continental licensed the
technology at one time to build a radial engine.

I recall claims that such engines were capable of running at significantly
higher compression ratios on the same fuel as they did not have a hot exhaust
valve in the combustion chamber to cause knock.  I assume they lost out to the
radial poppet valve engines of Pratt and others as they were probably more
expensive to build.  Can anyone confirm this?  What other factors were
involved?

Bob Wohlsen
bob_wohlsen@qm.sri.com