Heath-Henderson B-4

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Heath-Henderson B-4
Heath-Henderson B-4 engine.jpg
Heath-Henderson B-4 aircraft engine on display at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
Type Piston aero engine
National origin United States
Manufacturer Heath-Henderson
First run 1930?
Major applications Heath V Parasol
Unit cost $300 in 1932 [1]

The Heath-Henderson B-4 engine was a motorcycle piston engine modified for use in aircraft.

"The Heath Airplane Company's Model B-4 was an in-line, four-cylinder, air-cooled Henderson motorcycle engine converted for use in aircraft by modifying the lubrication system and the valves. The B-4 mainly powered the small and economical Heath Parasol monoplane, which Heath sold in kit form for homebuilders in the 1920s and '30s."

"The low-cost, reliable Henderson motorcycle engine was well-suited for the Heath airplane design because it helped make sport flying affordable for many people. Service was simple and economical because parts were cheap and easy to obtain throughout the country."

  • A Heath-Henderson engine was featured on an episode of the television show American Pickers, first airing on December 12, 2011 in the U.S. A brief history of both the Henderson motocycle company and use of the engine in Heath aircraft was discussed.


  • Church Marathon J-3
The Marathon J-3 was a modification of the Heath-Henderson B-4 engine, used for light aircraft in the 1930s, by the Church Airplane and Mfg. Co, primarily for the Church Midwing JC-1.[2] The Marathon J-3 cost $350 in 1932.
A Church Marathon J-3


Engines on display[edit]


General characteristics

  • Type: 4-cylinder, air-cooled inline piston aircraft engine
  • Bore: (Marathon J-3 - 3.5 in (89 mm))
  • Stroke: (Marathon J-3 - 2.806 in (71 mm))
  • Displacement: 83 cu in (1.4 l)
Church Marathon J-3 - 108 cu in (1.77 l)
  • Length: 25.25 in (641 mm)
  • Width: 14.5 in (368 mm)
  • Height: 24 in (610 mm)
  • Dry weight: 119 lb (54.0 kg)


  • Cooling system: air-cooled


  • Power output: 30 hp (22 kW) at 3000 rpm
Church Marathon J-3 - 46.5 hp (34.7 kW)


  1. ^ Popular Aviation: 136. August 1932.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ Popular Aviation: 133. August 1932.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ http://neam.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&layout=edit&id=1127 "Heath-Henderson B-4"


External links[edit]