Franklin Engine Company

Summary

The Franklin Engine Company was an American manufacturer of aircraft engines. Its designs were used primarily in the civilian market, both in fixed wing and helicopter designs. It was briefly directed towards automobile engines as part of the Tucker Car Corporation, returning to aviation when that company failed. The company was later purchased by the Government of Poland.

Franklin Engine Company
IndustryAerospace engineering
Founded1902
Defunct1975
Headquarters,
United States
Parent

HistoryEdit

 
Franklin O-335

The firm began as the H. H. Franklin Co. in 1902 in Syracuse, New York, USA, to produce Franklin air-cooled automobiles. Barely surviving bankruptcy in 1933, the company was purchased by a group of ex-employees and renamed Aircooled Motors in 1937. While the company kept the name of "Aircooled Motors," its engines continued to be marketed under the Franklin name.[1] Engineers Carl Doman and Ed Marks kept the company alive through the depression by manufacturing air-cooled truck and industrial engines.

During World War II Aircooled Motors was very successful producing helicopter and airplane engines. Several aircraft carried its engines, including the Aero-Flight Streak, Bartlett Zephyr, Bell 47, Bellanca Cruisair, Brantly B-1, Goodyear Duck, H-23 Raven, Hiller 360, Piper J-3F Cub, Seibel S-4, Sikorsky S-52, Stinson Voyager, Taylorcraft 15, Temco TE-1B, and the YT-35 Buckaroo.

Aircooled Motors was purchased by Republic Aviation Company in 1945 to produce engines for its Republic Seabee light amphibious aircraft.[2] After the war, demand for the engines dropped dramatically and Republic was unsure of the company's future.

In 1947 Aircooled Motors was purchased for the price of $1.8 million by the Tucker Car Corporation to produce an engine for the 1948 Tucker Sedan.[3] After purchasing Aircooled Motors, Tucker cancelled all of the company's aircraft contracts so that its resources could be focused on making automotive engines for the Tucker Corporation. This was a significant event, since at the time of Tucker's purchase Aircooled Motors held over 65% of postwar U.S. aviation engine production contracts. For this reason, when the Tucker Car Corporation failed amidst allegations of stock fraud, Aircooled nearly failed with it.

Tucker and the Tucker family owned the firm until 1961, when it was sold to Aero Industries, which restored the name Franklin Engine Company.

In 1975 the government of Poland bought the company and moved it to Rzeszów, first under the name PZL-Franklin and later PZL-F.

The company is now called Franklin Aircraft Engines Sp. z o.o. with the address ul. Chełmińska 208 in 86-300 Grudziądz city in Poland. At Aero Friedrichshafen 2016 the company had new engines on display. The innovations include modifications to the type certificate of the 6A-350; the approval for MOGAS, as well as fuel injection is pending at EASA.

ProductsEdit

 
Franklin O-200
 
Franklin O-805

Note: The engine displacement designations are fictional unless the engine was given a designation by the US military

Model name Configuration Power
Franklin O-110 O2 45 hp
Franklin O-120 O2 60 hp
Franklin O-150 O4 40 hp
Franklin O-170 O4 60 hp
Franklin O-175 O4 80 hp
Franklin O-180 O4 80 hp
Franklin O-200 O4 65 hp
Franklin O-225 O4 75 hp
Franklin O-235 O4 125 hp
Franklin O-265 O6 110 hp
Franklin O-300 O6 130 hp
Franklin O-335 O6 225 hp
Franklin O-350 O6 235 hp
Franklin O-400 O8 235 hp
Franklin O-405 O6 200 hp
Franklin O-425 O6 240 hp
Franklin O-500 O6 215 hp
Franklin O-540 O8 300 hp
Franklin O-595 O12 300 hp
Franklin O-805 O12 450 hp

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Flying Magazine: 13. August 1945. {{cite journal}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ "Republic Contracts to Buy Franklin". Aviation News. Vol. 4, no. 18. McGraw-Hill Publishing Company. 26 November 1945. p. 14. Retrieved 7 June 2021.
  3. ^ Egan, Philip S.; Design and Destiny: The Making of the Tucker Automobile; On the Mark Publications; 1989

BibliographyEdit

  • Gunston, Bill. (1986). World Encyclopedia of Aero Engines. Patrick Stephens, Wellingborough. p. 57

External linksEdit

  • www.wskrz.com — WSK "PZL-Rzeszów" S. A., Polish manufacturer of Franklin engines