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Heath-Henderson B-4 In-line Engine


Display Status:

This object is on display in the Boeing Aviation Hangar room at Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

Heath-Henderson B-4 In-line Engine

Collection Item Summary:

The Heath Airplane Company's Model B-4 was an in-line, four-cylinder, air-cooled Henderson motorcycle engine converted for use in aircraft by modifying the lubrication system and the valves. The B-4 mainly powered the small and economical Heath Parasol monoplane, which Heath sold in kit form for homebuilders in the 1920s and '30s.

The low-cost, reliable Henderson motorcycle engine was well-suited for the Heath airplane design because it helped make sport flying affordable for many people. Service was simple and economical because parts were cheap and easy to obtain throughout the country.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum


Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum


Credit Line

Gift of Eugene E. Stegall.


Length 64.1 cm (25.25 in.), Width 36.8 cm (14.5 in.), Height 61 cm (24.0 in.)

Country of Origin

United States of America



Physical Description

  • Type: Reciprocating, In-line, 4 cylinders, air cooled
  • Power rating: 22.4 kW (30 hp) at 3,000 rpm
  • Displacement: 1.4 L (83 cu in)
  • Bore and Stroke: 70 mm (2.8 in.) x 89 mm (3.5 in.)
  • Weight: 54 kg (119 lb)


PROPULSION-Reciprocating & Rotary

Inventory Number