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Wright R-1820 Cyclone

Wright R-1820 engine on display in the Early Years Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Wright R-1820 engine on display in the Early Years Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

The Wright Aeronautical Corp. introduced the 9-cylinder, air-cooled, R-1820 radial engine in 1931. Developed from earlier "Cyclone" engines of the late 1920s, the larger and more powerful R-1820 produced 575 hp; however, engineers dramatically improved its performance over many years of production, with several later versions being rated at 1,525 hp.

Although the R-1820 powered thousands of military and civilian aircraft, it remains best known as the engine that powered Boeing's B-17 Flying Fortress in World War II.

The R-1820B on display is an early version rated at 575 hp. More powerful 775-hp R-1820-33s powered the Martin B-10.

Click here to return to the Early Years Gallery.

 

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Related Fact Sheets
Martin B-10
Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress
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In accordance with the updated guidance released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of Defense (DoD) and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force will require all visitors to wear face masks indoors effective July 30, 2021 until further notice.

Visitors ages three and up will be required to wear masks while indoors at the museum. This policy applies to all visitors, staff and volunteers regardless of vaccination status. Visitors may wear their own masks or a free paper mask will be provided. Cloth masks will also be available for purchase in the Museum Store.
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