LeBlond Aircraft Engine Corporation

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LeBlond Aircraft Engine Corporation
Industry Aerospace
Fate Acquired
Successor(s) Rearwin Airplanes
Founded 1928
Founder(s) Richard K. LeBlond
Defunct 1937
Products Aeroengines

LeBlond Aircraft Engine Corporation was a small engine manufacturer incorporated on April 11, 1928 and located on the northwest corner of Madison and Edwards Roads in Norwood, Ohio[1] as a subsidiary of the R. K. LeBlond Machine Tool Company in Cincinnati, Ohio, a well known manufacturer of machinist lathes.[2]

History[edit]

In 1928 Richard K. LeBlond purchased Detroit Aircraft Engineering Corporation, then a subsidiary of Detroit's automaker Rickenbacker owned by World War I pilot and ace Eddie Rickenbacker[3] and the engineer, Glenn D. Angle.[4] and their 5-cylinder Air Cat engine. LeBlond employed the company's designer and previous co-owner, Glenn D. Angle, to improve the design for further production and development.[2] The LeBlond line was continually refined and improved through late 1937.

In December 1937, in order to offset a large tax liability incurred by the LeBlond Tool company, the subsidiary, LeBlond Engines, was sold at a significant loss to Raymond A. Rearwin of Rearwin Airplanes. The purchase was a perfect fit for Rearwin as his company was one of the largest users of LeBlond engines and gave Rearwin a well accepted radial engine to use on his designs.[5] Rearwin renamed the company Ken-Royce Motors after his two sons Ken and Royce Rearwin[6] and continued production of the line until World War Two.[2]

Production of the LeBlond designs never resumed, as the design was not economical compared to the newer "flat" (horizontally opposed) engines of the post-war era. LeBlond/Ken-Royce engine parts were provided during the 1950s by Air Associates and in the 1960s the remaining parts were sold to the Antique Airplane Association of Blakesburg, Iowa.[2]

Products[edit]

The LeBlond 5D was the first engine introduced by LeBlond in 1928.[7] The 5D engine design was in essence, a 1925 Detroit Air Cat with minor improvements.[8]

LeBlond 5 Variants[edit]

Main article: LeBlond 5
A LeBlond 90-5F engine
LeBlond 60-5D
Introduced in 1928,[7] the 60-5D was a 60 hp (45 kw) 5-cylinder, air-cooled, radial piston engine with a displacement of 234 cubic inches (3.8 litres).[8] This model used iron cylinder heads[2] and was a direct development of the Detroit Air Cat.[7]
LeBlond 70-5DE
Introduced in 1930,[7] the 70-5F was a 70 hp (52 kw) 5-cylinder, air-cooled, radial piston engine using iron cylinder heads and two bearings.[2]
LeBlond 85-5DF
Introduced in 1930,[7] the 85-5F was an 85 hp (63 kw) 5-cylinder, air-cooled, radial piston engine using aluminum cylinder heads and three bearings.[2]
LeBlond 70-5E
Introduced in 1930,[7] the 70-5E was a 70 hp (52 kw) 5-cylinder, air-cooled, radial piston engine.[2] Production of the 5E continued in production under Ken-Royce as the Rearwin Ken-Royce 5E.[7]
LeBlond 80-5F
Introduced in 1930,[7] the 80-5F was an 80 hp (60 kw) 5-cylinder, air-cooled, radial piston engine with a displacement of 266 cubic inches (4.4 litres)[9] Using three bearings as developed for the earlier 5DF series, the LeBlond 5F was introduced in 1930. When aircraft powered with the 5F were commandeered by the U.S. Army, the engine was re-designated the R-265.[9] This engine was the last of the so-called 'greasers'. Production of the 5F continued under Ken-Royce[2] as the Rearwin Ken-Royce 5G.[7]
LeBlond 85-5DF
Introduced in 1930,[7] the 85-5F was an 85 hp (63 kw) 5-cylinder, air-cooled, radial piston engine with a displacement of 266 cubic inches (4.4 litres)[9]
LeBlond 90-5F
Introduced in 1930,[7] the 90-5F was a 90 hp (68 kw) 5-cylinder, air-cooled, radial piston engine with a displacement of 266 cubic inches (4.4 litres)[9]
LeBlond 90-5G
Introduced in 1930,[7] the 90-5G was a 90 hp (68 kw) 5-cylinder, air-cooled, radial piston engine with a displacement of 266 cubic inches (4.4 litres)[7] Production of the 5G continued under Ken-Royce[2] as the Rearwin Ken-Royce 5G.[7]

LeBlond 7 Variants[edit]

LeBlond 90-7D
Introduced in 1929,[7] the 90-7D was a 90 hp (68 kw) 7-cylinder, air-cooled, radial piston engine using iron heads.[2]
LeBlond 110-7DF
Introduced in 1930,[7] the 110-7DF was a 110 hp (82 kw) 7-cylinder, air-cooled, radial piston engine using aluminum heads.[2]
LeBlond 110-7F
A 110 hp (82 kw) 7-cylinder, air-cooled, radial piston engine using aluminum cylinder heads and three bearings. As with the 5F, the 7F continued in production under Ken-Royce[2] as the Rearwin Ken-Royce 7G.[7]
LeBlond 120-7
Introduced in 1929, the 120-7 was a 120 hp (89 kw) 7-cylinder, air-cooled, radial piston engine.[7]

Parts interchangeable between the 5 and 7-cylinder models of the LeBlond and later Ken-Royce engines include the cylinder assemblies, gear case and oil pump. As the engine is modular in design, the gear case can be removed intact. The oil pump, being a single unit, can be removed from the bottom of the gear case for overhaul or replacement.[2]

The Stromberg NAR-3 carburetor contains a built-in "primer" which acts like a choke by leaking gasoline into the intake stream when activated, in order to prime the engine.[2]

The valve springs used on LeBlond's and Ken-Royce engines are of the volute spring type which is wound in a beehive shape out of strip steel. Unlike most engines, which have nested coil springs wound from round wire. This type of spring was inherited from the original Detroit Air-Cat as at the time of the Air-Cat design in the late twenties, round wire springs had resonance and fatigue problems. The volute design eliminated the resonance and lasted longer.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Companies in Norwood, Ohio - "L"." RootsWeb.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 June 2010. <http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ohnhs2/BusinessL.html>.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "Rearwin Aircraft Engines." PilotFriend. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 June 2010. <http://www.pilotfriend.com/aero_engines/engine_specs/Ken_Royce%20Motors/blank.htm>.
  3. ^ "Cincinnati Aviation Heritage Soc." CAHS Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 June 2010. <http://cahslunken.org/lukhistory/lukhistory.htm>.
  4. ^ "LeBlond / Ken-Royce Engines." PilotFriend. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 June 2010. <http://www.pilotfriend.com/aero_engines/engine_specs/LeBlond%20Engines.htm>.
  5. ^ Goyer, Norm. "Rearwin Aircraft and Ken- Royce Engines." Aircraft Market Place. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 June 2010. <http://acmp.com/blog/rearwin-aircraft-and-ken-royce-engines.html>.
  6. ^ Robertson, Doug. "N17029, 1936 Porterfield 35-70 FLYABOUT 'Spinach', Rev. 1." Airport-Data.com. N.p., 23 October 2006. Web. 20 June 2010. <http://www.airport-data.com/articles/view/N17029-1936-Porterfield-35-70-FLYABOUT-Spinach-Rev-1;32.html>.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r "Powerplants: Reciprocating Engines." AeroFiles. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 June 2010. <http://www.aerofiles.com/motors.html>.
  8. ^ a b "LeBlond Engines aero engines: LeBlond 5D." PilotFriend. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 June 2010. <http://www.pilotfriend.com/aero_engines/engine_specs/LeBlond%20Engines.htm>.
  9. ^ a b c d "LeBlond / Ken-Royce Engines aircraft engine specifications." PilotFriend. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 June 2010. <http://www.pilotfriend.com/aero_engines/engine_specs/LeBlond%20Engines.htm>.