by: Stephen T. Lawson [ ]
HistoryThe Argus As III was a six-cylinder, in-line, water-cooled, aircraft engine produced in Germany by Argus Motoren during World War I.
The As III produced 1916 put out 160hp (120 kW).
The As IIIa produced in 1917 put out 190hp (140 kW).
These engines were used in 1916 -18. By the German engine designation of As.III we know this was a motor that had 160hp. When ever the suffix “a” was added it meant that the motor was up rated to 170-200hp. After 220ph the ratings went to IV and onward. The problem with the Opel Argus As.III in the Hannover CL.II was weight to power ratio. Motors wore out and performance tended to fall off. Usually motors were due for ring & seal replacement after 25 - 30 hours operation. There are no external differences between the two motors except the cylinder sizes. This was mostly hidden under the half barrel water jackets. The As.III motors were rebuilt to the current specifications at the airparks and the main rebuilding facility as the war progressed. That is why some captured examples had motors with the designation As.III cast into their crankcases. This has caused the misconception that the standard 160hp and 170 hp were used in 1918 at a time when they had become obsolete. Often these were referred to as “160hp over compressed engines”. Note the British and German measures for horsepower are slightly different. I am using the German definitions here.
Argus AS.III & IIIa motor applications.
LFG Roland D.II
LFG Roland D.III
The reviewI found only one glitch in the instructions. In step 4, it advises you attach parts 7 x 2@ with the open end facing the cylinder base. It should face out toward the fuselage wall. Part 7 (x 2 each) are air intakes and are designed to scoop fresh air into the carburetors. If they were to face in they would take in heated air and choke.
I have built the previous 2 versions of this motor from other companies. The new Copper State Models version is the best detailed item I have come across. You have to be cautious and not damage the dual resin cylinder assemblies (part 2 x 3 @ ). The fit of the lower cylinders into the engine block (part 1) is tight and I recommend shaving the lower ends down while still on the casting blocks. Its possible to open the cylinder holes in the block but only slightly. Note I did delete the four small crankcase extensions for the build I will do. They are on the real engine case.
ConclusionI highly recommend this kit to anyone with resin kit experience. Inquire at the website for availability & prices.