Talk:Gnome Omega

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Was it initially called Omega?[edit]

Omega: this was a 50 hp engine but so were the first Gnomes, which were not given type names. There might have been some retrospective labelling, but you would not call your first engine Omega. So it's hard to known whether it's an Omega or not and I think we should not guess, in the absence of a citable source. Both of my "early Brits" books (Lewis and Goodall & Tagg) describe the engine as a 50 hp Gnome, with no name. The Dyott does not appear on Lumsden's list of Omega users, though it's not on any of his lists. I'm not sure if all his Gnome users ran UK built Gnomes, or if French ones are included.TSRL (talk) 13:39, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

Are you sure the "first (50 hp) Gnomes" had "no given type names"? This would be quite significant news for me. Quite contrary, all sources I've seen recently leave no doubt that the very first 50 hp Gnome engine ever created was called "Omega" (no retrospection). Cf Rotary engine#Gnome. --Kubanczyk (talk) 13:58, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
The Smithsonian placard is very sure that the early Gnomes were called Omegas, so that probably settles it, though I'd be 100% convinced by a near-contemporary use. Their version of its first flight differs from Gunston. Maybe there is something in the early Flight records. Oddly, Gunston does not use the name at all; the only Greek labelled Gnome he has is the Lambda. Lumsden lists the Omega, without a header date but says production 8/1914 - 12/1918. However, several of the aircraft he says were powered by it are, from memory, pre-1914. Perhaps the production he refers to is UK only, but he gives no manufacturers. Anyway, it sounds as if you have the Smithsonian with you, so are probably right. I'll have a look in the Flight files. Cheers,TSRL (talk) 19:41, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
Hmm... Ive searched Flight 1909-20 for Omega and there is no reference to such an engine. 1909 might be a little late, but that's when Flight started! Doesn't mean that the first, 50 hp Gnomes, were not called Omega, of course but the name does not seem to have been widely used, for the engine itself was common. Everywhere it's "60 hp 7-cylinder Gnome" or similar. Tellingly, perhaps, the 1913 Jane's All the World's Aircraft (the first), though it lists 6 different Gnome types does not name any of them. Gunston does say "by 1914 Gnome ... assigned Greek letters ...". Wonder where the Smithonian got the name from.TSRL (talk) 20:18, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
OK, two conflicting versions: retrospective naming or not-widely-known naming. Both sourced. I don't like leaving such stuff over the talk pages - do you feel like including this information in the Gnome Omega? (i.e. that sources differ whether the first engine was called Omega) --Kubanczyk (talk) 16:40, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
I'd be inclined to move this to the Gnome Omega discussion page, then point to it with a brief note on the engine project discussion page. That would alert, eg, Nimbus227 who started the page and named it, as well as other engine experts (I'm not one) who may know more about Gnomes and other early engines and their nomenclature problems (acute, often!). When we have some sort of consensus we can tweak the article if necessary. What do you think?TSRL (talk) 18:44, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
Copied from User_talk:Kubanczyk to Talk:Gnome Omega, please continue here. --Kubanczyk (talk) 08:33, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
I believe the footnote just added is original research/synthesis, we can't say something is not called something because it is not given in other sources. The article was written using Lumsden as the verifiable reliable source, the bolded name in the lead is exactly how he describes the engine and is also exactly how the example in the RAF Museum is placarded (I take photos of the placards to help with identifying each engine), the museum has three of these engines according to their website. If you view the image in the specs section at full resolution and zoom in on the lower data plate you can read that it says 'MOTEUR GNOME TYPE Ω (the symbol for Omega) with the serial number after it. The top plate says 'Societe Des', the rest is hidden by the propeller. All original research and we can not use photographs to cite articles but I would suggest that this is a French built engine, known to Gnome as the Type Omega. From my work creating early aircraft engine articles I have seen that it was common for engines to be named after their nominal horsepower ratings, the Rolls-Royce Falcon is an example, why I don't know, could be a military system. Nimbus (Cumulus nimbus floats by) 11:44, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────This French web article from the archives of SNECMA could no doubt clarify things if it was translated. From what I can read there was a 'Moteur Type 50 ch' (ch for chevaux/horsepower) around in 1908 and then the Omega appears to be an improved version of it from late 1909. Nimbus (Cumulus nimbus floats by) 12:12, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

I can see that a problem was being caused by this uncited addition/claim by another editor; ...the world's first-ever rotary engine ever produced in quantity. I have removed it and removed the disclaimer note as it is redundant. The lead is basically how it was when the article was created and relates solely to the Gnome Omega. As there is no 'design and development' section yet the earlier engine type could be covered and a redirect created to that section. Nimbus (Cumulus nimbus floats by) 13:12, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
That French article could well be used as a reference. It's not that hard to use Google Translate on it (select blocks of text in a PDF reader and paste them into the translate window), and the results are generally comprehensible in most places. I did notice that, if its production figures are correct, then the Omega production figure cited here from Nahum of "4000 until 1914" is much too high, since the French article claims a total production by Gnome of 3,638 engines between July 1909 and August 1914: "Entre juillet 1909 et août 1914, les usines Gnome produisent trois mille six cent trente huit moteurs..." (Last page, final paragraph.) That's of all models, including the 80 hp Lambda, 70 hp Gamma, and 60 hp Sigma.--Colin Douglas Howell (talk) 23:18, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
The total produced could be over double that as they were built under license in England, the source I used does not give the details unfortunately. Nimbus (Cumulus nimbus floats by) 23:49, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
Ah, I hadn't thought of licensed production; thanks for pointing that out. --Colin Douglas Howell (talk) 02:31, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

A bit more detail, please.[edit]

The engine was unusual in that the crank was fixed to the a/c, and the engine body turned the prop. This gave the excellent cooling for the cylinders. Castor oil had the best heat tolerance for the time. Lubricating oils were barely developed, and grease was entirely soap-based until well after WW1. (talk) 23:44, 24 April 2016 (UTC)

In the infobox and specifications section is a link to the rotary engine article, we ought to try and squeeze this link into the lead section. It's fairly normal not to describe the principle in detail, using wikilinks instead. Hope that helps. Nimbus (Cumulus nimbus floats by) 08:09, 25 April 2016 (UTC)