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Artifact Friday: The R-5 Kinner Engine




TGIAF (Thank Goodness Its Artifact Friday)! 

We do not highlight engines very much, but today we are exhibiting the R-5 Kinner radial! 

In the 1920s and 1930s, Bert Kinner was an aircraft designer and aircraft engine engineer. He founded Kinner Airplane and Motor Corporation in California where he designed aircraft and radial engines. 

He originally designed the Kinner B-5. This was a five-cylinder radial engine that was a more powerful version of the Kinner 5. 

The Kinner B-5 was a reliable engine that powered sports aircraft and trainers such as the PT-22. 

However, Bert Kinner continued to expand his engine horizons and from the B-5 developed the R-5. 

The R-5 radial had the same number of cylinders, but compared to the B-5, it was a little bit larger and more powerful. 

The B-5 had a 117 mm bore (diameter of an engine cylinder) which increased to 127 mm bore. Additionally, the piston stroke (piston cycle of movement) grew from 133.3 mm to 139.7 mm.  

The increase in capacity and size created a great engine that eventually became well-known in America because it was used to power World War Two trainers. This included the PT-22 (like the B-5), the Howard DGA-18K, the N2T Tutor, and the Fleet Finch. 

The Kinner-5 can be seen in our historic White Hangar. This engine is located next to the aircraft it powered- the DGA-18K. 

Our Kinner R-5 engine is one of the items in our hangar one can touch, as it has a handle that turns the pistons, so one can observe how the different parts power the engine. 


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