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Hispano-Suiza A (Wright-Martin) V-8 Engine


Display Status:

This object is on display in the Legend, Memory and the Great War in the Air exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

Collection Item Summary:

Hispano-Suiza engines were developed by Marc Birkigt, of Swiss origin, and first manufactured in Barcelona, Spain for use in automobiles. Hisso engines were very successful and featured innovative cast-aluminum cylinder construction with internal water passages. Increased demand for World War I, in particular, required licensing of Hisso aircraft engine manufacturing in France, England and the U.S. The Wright-Martin Aircraft Corporation, later the Wright Aeronautical Corporation, acquired the American rights and claimed improvements during further development.

In 1916, the Societe d'Exploitation des Materiels Hispano-Suiza of France began manufacturing Type A engines for the Spad fighter. Produced under license by Wright-Martin, this engine powered U.S. military training aircraft such as the Curtiss JN-4H.


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


  • La Société Hispano-Suiza
  • Marc Birkigt


Credit Line

Transferred from the U.S. Navy




  • 3-D: 144 × 84.9 × 832cm (56 11/16 in. × 33 7/16 in. × 27 ft. 3 9/16 in.)
  • Support: 75 × 86 × 55.5cm (29 1/2 in. × 33 7/8 in. × 21 7/8 in.)

Country of Origin

United States of America



Physical Description

  • Type: Reciprocating, V-type, 8 cylinders, liquid-cooled
  • Power rating: 112 kW (150 hp) at 1,450 rpm
  • Displacement: 11.78 L (718.88 cu in.)
  • Bore and Stroke: 120 mm (4.72 in) x 130 mm (5.12 in)
  • Weight (dry): 202 kg (445 lb)


PROPULSION-Reciprocating & Rotary

Inventory Number