In the early 20th century, as model aviation was spreading as a hobby, there was also a growing interest in gasoline engines. And, of course, many people attempted to make gasoline engines small enough to fit into a model airplane. There were several successes, although none reached the production level – or the miniature size – of the Brown Jr. Motors engines in the early 1930s.
Now on exhibit in the museum gallery is one of these successful attempts, a Jopson Gasoline Motor, a four cycle, horizontal opposed type, 2 cast iron cylinders of 1 ¼” bore and 1 3/8” stroke weighing in at 7 ½ pounds. It was designed and sold by W.G. Jopson of Manchester, England, beginning about 1910.
The engine is on loan from Art Gaier. Art spent several years restoring the engine based off of research and pictures found on the internet and through conversations with others who owned similar engines.
At some point in the summer, two additional engines will be exhibited along with the Jopson. A Gamage engine, manufactured in London, and a Baby Engine, manufactured in Connecticut. These engines will be reproductions that the museum has had commissioned – they are being made now, we’re just not sure when they will be complete.
Watch the museum’s social media sites for more information on these engines. Even better visit the museum in person to see them for yourself!
For more information on the National Model Aviation Museum, including our location, hours and admission fees visit: www.modelaircraft.org/museum