The last product of the Wright Company prior to its merger with Curtiss Aircraft, the Cyclone was one of the top nine-cylinder radials of the day. Introduced in 1929, it was considered a rival to the Pratt & Whitney Hornet, and for good reason. The nucleus of the Pratt & Whitney Company came from the former design staff of Wright.
Often mixed-up with other Wright engines, as well as the Pratt & Whitneys, the Cyclone's great moments was as the initial engine of the world's greatest transport, the Douglas DC-3, and the most famous American bomber of the Second World War, the Boeing B-17. The powerful Cyclone earns its confusion as the DC-3 also mounted Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasps.
The model on the engine mounts at the AAM was typical of those used on the B-17. It has been extensively cleaned and restored by AAM volunteers.
The Cyclone went through several models, and mostly was mated with Curtiss airframes during the 1930s. Two notable exceptions were the Douglas DC-1/DC-2 and the Martin's B-10. Among the less successful uses of the Cyclone were on the ill-fated Brewster Buffalo.