Continental Motors was the world’s largest manufacturer of automotive engines during the 1920’s. Its earliest venture in aircraft engines during the mid-1920s was the radial type, but Continental only became successful in aviation with the horizontally opposed type. Using a four-stroke cycle, this aircraft engine converts reciprocating (piston) action into rotary (crankshaft) motion. The rotating crankshaft turns a propeller, which creates thrust and causes the aircraft to move forward.
The combination of the Continental A-65 engine and the Piper J-3 Cub airframe promoted the great growth of sport aviation by providing a dependable, inexpensive airplane with adequate performance and in sufficient quantity to support good service facilities at almost any airport.
This particular engine powered a 1940s-era Globe Swift GC-1B, a light general aviation aircraft. While aircraft piston engine technology has improved greatly over time, the basic operating principles have remained the same.
Gift of Michael H. Bednarek, Swift Museum Foundation, Inc., G. Porter Houston, and Robert H. Padgett
Weight (dry): 116.6 kg (257 lb)