Wright R-1300 Cyclone 7 radial engine

Object: Wright R-1300 Cyclone 7 radial engine

National Museum of Naval Aviation, Pensacola, USA

EMu user since 2001


october_small.gifFrom the collection of the National Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola, Florida, the Wright R-1300 Cyclone 7 engine harkens back to an age when the roar of radial engines filled the skies. The last of a breed of engines built by the Wright Aeronautical Division of the Curtiss-Wright Corporation, the R-1300 was the final single-row radial design manufactured by the company.

Developed during World War II, the R-1300 operated primarily after the end of hostilities and in a range of aircraft, including the massive N-class, or Nan blimps. One of these, a ZPG-2, the “Snow Bird” piloted by Commander Jack Hunt, set distance and endurance records in March 1957 by flying 9,740 miles and remaining aloft for over ten days.

The R-1300 also powered the Navy’s famed T-28 Trojan training aircraft in which thousands learned to fly, as well as the CH-19 helicopter, which served extensively in the Korean War. In helicopters such as the HRS and HO4S it was used to trigger the spinning rotors that gave them the distinctive sound that inspired the nickname “chopper.”