Liberty 12 Model A V-12 Aircraft Engine Tools and Tool Box


Display Status:

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

Liberty 12 Model A V-12 Aircraft Engine Tools and Tool Box

Collection Item Summary:

The Liberty engine was America's most important contribution to aeronautical technology during World War I. Jesse G. Vincent of Packard and Elbert J. Hall of Hall-Scott co-designed it in mid-1917 for the U.S. government, which wanted a standard design in 4-, 6-, 8-, and 12-cylinder versions that could be quickly mass-produced to equip U.S. combat aircraft. Automakers Ford, Lincoln, Packard, Marmon, and Buick produced 20,748 Liberty 12s before the Armistice, which insured their widespread use into the 1920s and 1930s.

These tools were assigned to the 20th Aero Squadron, U.S. Army Air Service, and brought home from the war by Master Sergeant Chester Cy Martin. He used to them remove oil seals and bearings from Liberty engines. The tools were stored in his garage until 1998.

Collection Item Long Description:

Inventory Number


Physical Description

Olive drab metal tool box and tools used for removing oil seals and bearings from Liberty 12 Model A aircraft engines installed in de Havilland DH-4 aircraft during World War I. There are 26 miscellaneous tools, some incomplete.

Credit Line

Gift of William D. Martin.



Country of Origin

United States of America


Tool box: 35.6 cm (14 in.) long by 15.6 cm (6 1/8 in.) wide by 16.2 cm (6 3/8 in.) high

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Restrictions & Rights

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