The Rotary Engines Quiz


By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Rotary engines have far fewer moving parts than conventional piston engines and run a lot smoother. See how much you know about these internal combustion engines by taking this quiz.

Who patented the first rotary engine?

Millet also developed one of the first motorcycles that used pressurized air in the tires.


How many cylinders did Millet's engine have?

The five-cylinder engine was built right into the spokes of the bicycle's rear wheel.


What year was the first rotary engine patented?

Patented in 1888, the rotary engine was an entirely different approach to the internal combustion engine.


During which war were rotary engines used in many airplanes?

It was considered an efficient type of engine, particularly in the World War I era.


Wankel rotary engines are also sometimes called what?

Instead of pistons it uses rotors, which engineers sometimes call rotary pistons.


What is the best trait of a Wankel rotary engine?

It creates massive power with simple design and low engine weight.


Wankel engines are named for their inventor.

The rotary engine was conceived by engineer Felix Wankel.


What major drawback did rotary engines present to novice pilots?

The gyroscopic effects of the rotating engine made for difficult handling.


True or false: Wankel rotary engines use the same combustion cycle as four-stroke piston engines.

Wankel rotary engines also go through the intake, compression, combustion and exhaust phases.


What was the primary advantage of the first rotary engines over radial engines?

They had better cooling, especially when planes were on the ground or moving at slow speeds.


Which car brand is known for its occasional use of specific types of Wankel rotary engines?

Varieties of a rotary engine have appeared in vehicles such as the Mazda RX-8.


What sort of cooling keeps rotary engines from overheating?

Air cooling keeps them from overheating. The spinning action helps prevent heat damage.


What phrase is used to describe a rotary engine's oil usage?

You're forced to continually monitor and add oil, otherwise it will run dry.


Which British fighter plane used a rotary engine?

Because of the heavy engine, only experienced pilots thought the Sopwith Snipe one was easy to handle.


Where was the engine placed in the Megola, a 1920s German motorcycle?

The engine was on the front wheel. The motorcycle could hit speeds of around 60 miles per hour (97 kilometers per hour).


Wankel engines can produce more power with less …

They have little vibration. These engines run much more smoothly without the pounding of pistons.


How the gyroscopic effect of the spinning engines affect fighter plane performance?

Left turns were hard, as they went against the spinning direction of the engine; right turns were neck-snappingly quick.


True or false: Wankel rotary engines produce fewer emissions than piston engines.

These engine have fewer parts but they are not fuel efficient.


The first rotary motors omitted which part altogether?

Without a flywheel, the motor was substantially lighter.


Which company made some of the most reliable rotary engines of the World War I era?

The Gnome Engine Company's single-valve, or "Monosoupape," was beloved by engineers who needed reliable aircraft engines.


What does a radial engine have that a rotary engine does not?

In a radial engine, the crankshaft spins; in a rotary engine it does not.


What was the approximate horsepower rating of the most powerful rotary engine from a World War I fighter plane?

Two hundred and fifty horsepower was a lot of muscle for those planes.


When were the first Wankel rotary engines patented?

They were patented in 1929. Felix Wankel, a German engineer, created them.


When did Felix Wankel finish his first working prototype?

His idea didn't come to fruition until 1957, decades after he patented it.


What is one advantage of a Wankel rotary engine over a regular combustion engine?

Wankel engines are very compact compared to piston-driven engines.


Why was the Mazda RX-8 ushered into retirement in 2012?

Tighter emissions standards mean consumer rotary cars are a tough sell.


Why are Wankel rotary engines inefficient in terms of fuel usage?

Rotary engines often work best at high revolutions per minute.


What was an unfortunate consequence for pilots who flew rotary engine fighters?

No laundry detergent could get their uniforms completely clean.


With older Wankel engines, cold weather often caused which problem?

Modern versions don't struggle with flooding the way older models did.


The simple design of Wankel engines means they resist what?

Piston engines are far more likely to experience total failure.


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