I know what you are thinking…did I just read that correctly? Does that say four pistons and two cylinders? Indeed it does. As many of us anxiously await the arrival of the certified big bore Deltahawk Diesel engines that could potentially raise the standard for comparing piston powerplants to new heights, others of us continue to keep our eyes on a revolutionary new design that has the potential to change the standard altogether.
Enter the Opposed Piston Opposed Cylinder engine…OPOC for short. This revolutionary new design is still in it’s infancy, but is quickly gaining speed and making itself known in the military world. In short, the engine uses two pistons opposing each in one cylinder to create the combustion chamber which maximizes the power output based on the 2-stroke principle. Because of the opposed piston design the push / pull forces on the piston rods and crankshaft associated with conventional engine design is eliminated entirely allowing for lighter construction materials. Lighter weight materials providing more power with less wear & tear on a reduced fuel consumption…sounds too good to be true, but it appears to be a possibility.
Rather than run the risk of confusing you with the details I invite you to view the following clip and think about the potential possibilities that this could provide for aviation. This concept could be a game changer in the world of piston powerplants, or it could fail to leave the test stand. Either way it is good to see innovation being put to the test and stepping into the previously unknown in the interest of efficiency and improvement.