Liberty 12 Model A (Lincoln) V-12 Engine


Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Collection Item Summary:

The Liberty's purpose was American mass production of standard engine units when the U.S. entered World War I. Co-designed in a week in mid-1917 by Jesse Vincent of Packard Motor Car and Elbert Hall of Hall-Scott Motor Car, with a planned series of 4-, 6-, 8-, and 12-cylinder models, the Liberty used only proven components to ensure workable engines in the shortest time. The Model L-8 was the first Liberty engine. However, power requirements made it obsolete before entering service, leading to the twelve-cylinder Liberty.

The Liberty's success was due entirely to the fact that the best engineers, production experts, and manufacturing facilities were provided to the Government. Leading automotive manufacturers, including Ford, Lincoln, Packard, Marmon, and Buick, built the engines.

The Liberty 12 Model A powered numerous aircraft including the de Havilland DH-4, the Navy-Curtiss NC-4, Fokker T2, Loening Model 23, Douglas World Cruiser, Douglas M-1 Mailplane, and Curtiss H-16 flying boat.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Restrictions & Rights

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


  • Elbert J. Hall
  • Jesse G. Vincent




Credit Line

Found in collection. Donor unknown at this time. Found on NASM premises


Metal, plastic


  • 3-D: 171.1 × 68.6 × 105.4cm (67 3/8 × 27 × 41 1/2 in.)
  • Support: 62 × 105 × 85.1cm (2 ft. 7/16 in. × 3 ft. 5 5/16 in. × 2 ft. 9 1/2 in.)

Country of Origin

United States of America


Circa World War I

Physical Description

  • Type: Reciprocating, V-type, 12 cylinders, Liquid cooled
  • Power rating: 298 kW (400 hp) at 1,800 rpm
  • Displacement: 27 L (1649 cu in)
  • Bore and Stroke: 127 mm (5 in) x 178 mm (7 in)
  • Weight: 357 kg (786 lb)


PROPULSION-Reciprocating & Rotary

Inventory Number