Talk:Reciprocating engine

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The following was inserted into the article on May 30, 2006 by an annonymous user (IP: I'm not sure what it's referring to, but it doesn't appear to belong in the article (and certainly needs cleanup, and conversion to an NPOV version written in the third person):

In the first chapter that introduces the piston engine the conclusion is drawn that the more cylinders the more powerful the engine will be. Im am not sure this is correct, in fact it can in certain cirumstances be incorrect. For example a 2000cc 4 cylinder engine may in teory be capable of producing more power then a six cylinder engine of the same capacity, because the six cylinder engine (due to more moving parts) will produce more drag from internal parts then the four cylinder engine. I would argue that the capacity of the engine is the determining factor rather then the number of pistons.

I have, therefore, removed it.Cbvt 21:40, 4 July 2006 (UTC)


The claim that Al-Jazari built the first reciprocating engine is not supported by the article on him and seems excessive and unbalanced when no other inventors' names are mentioned here. Lumos3 08:32, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

Description incorrect for steam engines[edit]

The hot gases expand, pushing the piston to the bottom of the cylinder. The piston is returned to the cylinder top (Top Dead Centre) either by a flywheel or the power from other pistons connected to the same shaft.

This description is incorrect for the atmospheric steam engines of Newcomen and Watt. In that case, cooling of the hot gases produces low pressure inside the cylinder, pulling the piston to the top. The piston moves back down by action of some flywheel or counter weight etc. AxelBoldt (talk) 00:35, 8 November 2009 (UTC)


Animated version

I have removed File:BetaStirlingTG4web.jpg from this article, because it seems to be a joke. The device looks like a set of male genitalia, and it's not clear how it would work as an efficient reciprocating engine. --S Larctia (talk) 16:57, 4 September 2011 (UTC)

This image is widely used across numerous Wikipedias. If it is a joke as you claim then everyone is being fooled. Apart from your assertions do you have any other evidence? Resemblance to male genitalia does not on its own mean something is a hoax. The rhombic drive article cites it to this paper at the Penn State University which seems genuine. I have restored the picture pending discussion. Lumos3 (talk) 19:17, 4 September 2011 (UTC)
That's strange, as the Penn State University article doesn't actually contain BetaStirlingTGFweb.jpg. I'm not claiming that it's a hoax - it looks similar to a rhombic drive, but I think the phallic elements have been exaggerated and we should find a more suitable illustration. S Larctia (talk) 19:39, 4 September 2011 (UTC)
This has been extensively discussed before (see discussion here). There is an animated version if you prefer (see right) -- EdJogg (talk) 13:14, 5 September 2011 (UTC)
Can we use the animated one instead in the article ? It's more explanatory, and it looks less like a penis. S Larctia (talk) 15:27, 5 September 2011 (UTC)
Resemblance to a penis is not an argument for removal. The image BetaStirlingTGFweb.jpg is a detailed section of the device comprehensible to anyone with a little knowledge of machine drawings. It is better quality than the other illustrations on this page. If it is to be replaced we need an illustration of a sterling engine with at least a good level of detail. Lumos3 (talk) 09:49, 6 September 2011 (UTC)

Most advanced reciprocating engine?[edit]

The Wasp Major radial engine is called one of the most advanced reciprocating engine. Apart from maritme applications it certainly is (was) one of the largest engines in regard to piston displacement and number of cylinders. The "most advanced" reciprocating engines are modern engines and not an outdated design like the Wasp Major. Should the wording be changed? (talk) 20:14, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

I agree that the use of advanced is vague in this context. I've changed the article to more neutral wording. If you want to add something about displacement or cylinder count, feel free. Dialectric (talk) 22:16, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

Engine Capacity[edit]

In the Engine Capacity section, someone has added "plus the volume of the combustion chambers". Is this correct? I always thought that the capacity was defined as the swept volume and that is how it is normally calculated. --Roly (talk) 14:22, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

As always, it doesn't matter what any of us think – where's a reference for it? Mind you, that's going to be an interesting one to find! Andy Dingley (talk) 15:03, 25 March 2013 (UTC)