Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,415 pages of information and 233,868 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Gnome Engine Co

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1909. 7-cylinder rotary engine.
1908. 20-hp. Exhibit at London Science Museum.
December 1911. Advert in French.
1914. Ref AA below
1915. Ref AA below
1917. Ref AA below
1920. Ref AA below

La Societe des Moteurs Gnome

Gnome et Rhône was a major French aircraft engine manufacturer.

London offices: 47 Victoria Street, S.W.1. and The Hyde, Hendon, N.W.9. UK Works: Black Horse Lane, Walthamstow[1]

Between 1914 and 1918 they produced 25,000 of their 9-cylinder Delta and Le Rhône 110 hp rotary designs, while another 75,000 were produced by various licensees, powering the majority of aircraft in the first half of the war on both sides of the conflict.

In the post-war era they started a new design series originally based on the Bristol Jupiter, but evolving into the excellent 1,000 hp-class Gnome-Rhône 14K Mistral Major radial, which was likewise licensed and used around the world during World War II. They were nationalized as a part of Snecma in 1949, but the brand lived on for a time as the manufacturer of motorcycles.

The Monosoupape, French for single-valve, was a particular engine design used by Gnome et Rhône's later rotary engines. It used a clever arrangement of internal ports and a single valve to replace a large number of parts normally found on a conventional arrangement, and made the Monosoupape engines some of the most reliable of the era.

Post-WWI: The Aircraft Manufacturing Co, in conjunction with La Societe des Moteurs Gnome and George Holt Thomas, was awarded £74,000 by the Royal Commission on Awards to Inventors for the Gnome 80 hp and La Rhone engines in addition to the £200,000 already received from H.M. Government; and £75,000 for the Gnome monosoupape engine[2]


  • 260 hp (190 kW) Gnome-Rhône 5K Titan
  • 7-cylinder 370 hp (270 kW) version, the Gnome-Rhône 7K Titan Major
  • 9-cylinder 550 hp (405 kW) Gnome-Rhône 9K Mistral
  • 1929 two banks of 7 cylinders, delivering the 625 hp (460 kW) Gnome-Rhône 14K Mistral Major
  • 18-cylinder two-row Gnome-Rhône 18L of 1400 hp
  • 1939 Gnome-Rhône 14R
  • WWII 1,000 hp-class Gnome-Rhône 14K Mistral Major radial

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Sphere - Saturday 27 October 1917, Page 67
  2. The Times, Jan 13, 1925
  • [1] Wikipedia
  • [[2]] Wikipedia
  • AA. [3] Image courtesy of Aviation Ancestry