Bentley BR2

Background

I created the BR2 in 3D because at the time of starting the Sopwith camel I had no reference material for the Clerget that was fitted to Camel.  On completing the BR2 in full scale, I used the L.K. Blackmore book on building a quarter scale engine as my reference material.   I had to scale down the final 3D assembly to fit it into the Camel.  I have since come across blueprints for the Clerget so at some time in the future I will complete the Clerget.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Bentley BR.1 was a British rotary aircraft engine of the First World War. Designed by the motor car engine designer W. O. Bentley, the BR.1 was built in large numbers, being one of the main powerplants of the Sopwith Camel.

Design and development

The 130 horsepower (97 kW) Clerget 9B was an important engine for the British Royal Naval Air Service and Royal Flying Corps, being license-produced in Britain and powering a number of important British aircraft, including the Sopwith Camel. However, at £907 a copy it was expensive, and prone to overheating, so the Admiralty asked Lieutenant W. O. Bentley, an established pre-war engine designer,  to produce a modified version to solve these problems.

Bentley came up with his idea of an engine – fitted with aluminium cylinders with cast iron liners, and aluminium pistons. Dual ignition was introduced to improve reliability, and the stroke increased to 6.7 inches (17 cm) which allowed power to be increased to 150 horsepower (110 kW).  The cost of the engine was also reduced, falling to £605 per engine.

The resulting engine, initially known as the A.R.1 for “Admiralty Rotary”, but later called the BR.1 (“Bentley Rotary”) was manufactured in quantity, although initially against Admiralty orders. It was standardised for the Camel in RNAS squadrons, but unfortunately there were never enough to entirely replace the inferior and more expensive Clerget engine in British service, and most RFC Camel squadrons continued to use Clerget engines; in fact licensed production of the Clerget continued.[3]

The BR.1 was developed as the BR.2, a heavier, more powerful engine, which powered, among other types of aircraft, the Camel’s eventual replacement, the Sopwith Snipe.

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