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Sturtevant D-6 In-line Engine, In-line 6 Engine


Display Status:

This object is on display in the Early Flight exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

Collection Item Summary:

Beginning in 1911, the Sturtevant Manufacturing Co. produced a number of engine models, all water cooled in-line vertical and V-types. Later absorbed into the family’s B.F. Sturtevant Co., which was a long time manufacturer of industrial fans; it was one of a number of early aircraft engine manufacturers whose products were very similar to automobile engines.

Unlike most of its rivals, this engine was equipped with L-head rather than overhead valves. It powered Burgess, Curtiss, Wright, and Sturtevant seaplanes, many of which were purchased by the U.S. government. It was also used in several privately-owned land planes. The artifact was removed from the Herring-Burgess aircraft that is in the museum’s collection.

Later, in 1915, the Sturtevant Aeroplane Co. was organized to build aircraft, and obviously used Sturtevant engines. The entire Sturtevant aviation venture was unsuccessful, ending after 1919.

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 Joseph Shoemaker




  • 3-D: 135 × 59 × 54cm, 145.2kg (53 1/8 × 23 1/4 × 21 1/4 in., 320lb.)
  • Support: 77.5 × 107 × 48cm (30 1/2 in. × 42 1/8 in. × 18 7/8 in.)

Country of Origin

United States of America



Physical Description

  • Type: Reciprocating, Six cylinders, In-line, water-cooled
  • Power rating: 45 kW (60 hp) at 1,200 rpm
  • Displacement: 7.038 L (429.42 cu in.)
  • Bore and Stroke: 114 mm (4.5 in.) x 114 mm (4.5 in.)
  • Weight: 145 kg (320 lb)


PROPULSION-Reciprocating & Rotary

Inventory Number