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British Industrial History

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Bentley Engines: BR.2

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The Bentley BR.2 was a British rotary aircraft engine developed during the First World War by the motor car engine designer W. O. Bentley from his earlier BR.1. Coming as it did near the end of the war, the BR.2 was built in smaller numbers than the earlier BR.1 - its main use being by the Royal Air Force in the early nineteen twenties.

The BR.2 developed 230 hp, with nine cylinders measuring 5.5 x 7.1in for a total displacement of 1,522 cu in. It weighed 490lb, only 93lb more than the BR.1.

The Sopwith Snipe, selected as the standard single seat fighter of the post war RAF was designed around the BR.2 - it was also used by the ground attack version of the Snipe, the Sopwith TF-2 Salamander.

This was the last type of rotary engine to be used by the RAF - later air-cooled aero engines being almost all of the fixed radial type. It probably carried the concept of the rotary engine almost as far as it could be taken.

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