Kirkham B-6, In-line 6 Engine

Charles B. Kirkham of Savona, N.Y., one of the earliest and best known airplane engine designers and builders, originally built motorcycle engines, and did casting and machining for Glenn Curtiss, whose Hammondsport factory was nearby. Between 1910 and 1912, Kirkham designed and built his own engines. From 1915 to 1919, he was Chief Engineer for the Curtiss Airplane and Motor Corporation; later founding his own company. Kirkham Models B-4 and B-6 engines incorporated concentric-type valves, operated through rockers and tubular concentric push rods from a camshaft situated in the crankcase. Kirkham advertised that his engine was "outstanding in light weight, low head resistance, and freedom from vibration."

In 1911, Kirkham began to manufacture the Model B-6. It powered the Aerial Exhibition Company's Burgess Hydroplane Model F, the Kirkham tractor biplane, and the Thomas Model TA. This artifact was flown by its donor, George N. Boyd, in a copy of a Curtiss aircraft and a Bleriot monoplane.

Gift of G. N. Boyd

Physical Description:
Weight (wet): 106.6 kg (235 lb)

Country of Origin
United States of America

Designer
Charles B. Kirkham
Manufacturer
Kirkham

Date
1911

Location
National Air and Space Museum, Washington, DC
Exhibition
Early Flight

Type
PROPULSION-Reciprocating & Rotary

Dimensions
Length 119.4 cm (47.0 in.), Width 40.6 cm (16.0 in.), Height 76.2 cm (30.0 in.)

Charles B. Kirkham of Savona, N.Y., one of the earliest and best known airplane engine designers and builders, originally built motorcycle engines, and did casting and machining for Glenn Curtiss, whose Hammondsport factory was nearby. Between 1910 and 1912, Kirkham designed and built his own engines. From 1915 to 1919, he was Chief Engineer for the Curtiss Airplane and Motor Corporation; later founding his own company. Kirkham Models B-4 and B-6 engines incorporated concentric-type valves, operated through rockers and tubular concentric push rods from a camshaft situated in the crankcase. Kirkham advertised that his engine was "outstanding in light weight, low head resistance, and freedom from vibration."

In 1911, Kirkham began to manufacture the Model B-6. It powered the Aerial Exhibition Company's Burgess Hydroplane Model F, the Kirkham tractor biplane, and the Thomas Model TA. This artifact was flown by its donor, George N. Boyd, in a copy of a Curtiss aircraft and a Bleriot monoplane.

Gift of G. N. Boyd

Physical Description:
Weight (wet): 106.6 kg (235 lb)

Country of Origin
United States of America

Designer
Charles B. Kirkham
Manufacturer
Kirkham

Date
1911

Location
National Air and Space Museum, Washington, DC
Exhibition
Early Flight

Type
PROPULSION-Reciprocating & Rotary

Dimensions
Length 119.4 cm (47.0 in.), Width 40.6 cm (16.0 in.), Height 76.2 cm (30.0 in.)

ID: A19620052000