Working model of an NSU Wankel rotary engine


Working model of an NSU Wankel rotary engine, sectioned.

This is a model of a Wankel rotary piston engine. The original engine was developed by Felix Wankel in Germany during the 1950s. Between 1965 and 1975 over a million Wankel engines were made around the world. Many of these were used in motor cars, but some were also fitted to motor cycles, boats and aircraft. Instead of a piston moving up and down in a cylinder, as in a conventional motor-car engine, the Wankel engine has a triangular rotor which revolves in a closely-fitting crank-case. The rotor is the only moving part in the engine, and spins at very high speeds. The object on display is one of a series of simple educational models specially designed to show how various types of engine operate.

On display

Science Museum: Making the Modern World Gallery

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Road Transport
Object Number:
WM. Electric motor: 10.1575 x 5.7087 x 9.0551 in.; 258 x 145 x 230 mm
model - representation
  • visual and verbal communication
Werner Degener Lehrmittel G.m.b.h.

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