Adams-Farwell Rotary 5 Engine

Close up of gears of metal Adams-Farwell Rotary 5 Engine
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As a result of its light weight, this five cylinder engine was selected by Emile Berliner, an inventor possibly better known in the acoustics field, to drive a helicopter's vertical shaft in a 1908 "test rig." It was reported by the New York Times on July 1, 1909 that a helicopter jointly designed by Berliner and J. Newton Williams, using two of these engines, successfully lifted a few feet off the ground in the last week of June 1909 with Williams aboard. Highlighted in this image is a gear of the Adams-Farwell Rotary 5 Engine.




Eric Long

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Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum

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