Definitions

rotary engine

rotary engine

rotary engine, internal-combustion engine whose cycle is similar to that of a piston engine, but which produces rotary motion directly without any conversion from reciprocating motion. A major problem associated with engines of this type is preventing the leakage of combustion gases. The only type of rotary engine currently considered to be of practical value is the Wankel engine (see internal-combustion engine). Although the gas turbine produces rotary motion directly, it is not generally considered a rotary engine because it functions differently.

Internal-combustion engine in which the combustion chambers and cylinders rotate with the driven shaft around a fixed control shaft to which pistons are attached. The gas pressures of combustion are used to rotate the shaft. In the Wankel engine, the most fully developed and widely used rotary engine, a triangular rotor rotates with an orbital motion in a specially shaped casing, and forms rotating crescent-shaped combustion chambers between its sides and the curved wall of the casing.

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