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In-Box Review
Clerget 9b 130hp or 9z 110hp
French & British mainline rotaries
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by: Stephen T. Lawson [ JACKFLASH ]

Rotary engine development
Cylinder head of a nine cylinder engine, showing the two valve rockers and the induction pipe from the rear of the engine. What distinguished the Clerget rotary engine from its rivals (Gnôme and Le Rhône) was that the Clerget had normal intake and exhaust valves unlike the Gnome, and the connecting rod arrangement was much simpler than the Le Rhône.

A source of failure among the British Clerget engines were the special-purpose piston rings, called obturator rings. These were located below the wrist pin to block heat transfer from the combustion area to the lower part of the cylinder and overcome their subsequent distortion. In the British manufactured motors these rings were often made from brass and only had a lifespan of a few hours.

The French built Clerget engines were considered very reliable but they cost more per unit to produce than their rivals. Unlike other contemporary rotaries in which the ignition system was either switched on or off to provide a rudimentary form of engine speed control, the Clerget featured a throttle that allowed the spark to be retarded to individual cylinders.

The Bentley BR 1 and Bentley BR 2 rotaries were designed as improvements of the Clerget, while sharing some of the earlier engine distinctive design features.

Design features general & specific
The Clerget rotary engines were air-cooled with either seven, nine or eleven cylinders. They were fitted with a double thrust ball race, which enabled them to be used either as a pusher or as a tractor engine. The engines worked on a four stroke cycle. The chief points of difference from other rotary engines were:

A. The pistons were of an aluminum alloy.
B. The connecting rods had a tubular section.
C. The inlet and exhaust valves were mechanically operated by means of separate cams, tappets and rocker arms.
D. The direction of rotation was counter-clockwise as seen from the propeller-end of the engine.
E. Between any two consecutive firing strokes, the engine turned through 80 degrees.
F. Like many other rotary engines of the period they were made chiefly of steel, for strength and strength.
G. Typical external wiring. twin spark plugs on the 9B & 9Bf.

Clerget engine types
Clerget 7Z
(1911) 80hp (60 kW), seven cylinder.

Clerget 9B
(1913) 130hp (97 kW), nine cylinder. Seen on Sopwith 1.5 Strutters, Camel F.1

Clerget 9Bf
(1915) 140hp (104 kW), nine cylinder long stroke version of the Clerget 9B. The most numerous British production engine with 2,350 units being built. Seen on Nieuport 24 & 23 fighters and some 2 seaters, Sopwith Camel F.1 and some 2F.1 and late war types fitted for rotaries.

Clerget 9Z
(1917) 110hp (82 kW), nine cylinder. Redesigned with flat head aluminum pistons, tubular connecting rods and revised valve gear. It tended to be on British trainers and prototypes fitted for rotaries.

Kit contents
John Roll of Roll Models was very kind. He selflessly and on his own offered this review kit.
Resin engine
69 total parts
10 cylinders
24 sparkplugs
10 air induction pipes
23 rocker arm / pushrod assemblies (these are amazing for this scale).
02 crankcases
01 cyano applicator in resin
This kit has two possible crankcases that are fair representations of both the 9B 130hp & 9Z 110hp used on tractor type aircraft.

Can be used for the following aircraft:
Avro 504K
Bristol M.1
Hanriot HD.1
Nieuport 12
Nieuport 17bis
Sopwith 1½ Strutter
Sopwith Baby
Sopwith Camel
Sopwith Triplane

When contacting manufacturers and publishers please mention you saw this review at AEROSCALE
Highs: Highly detailed very buildable. Well detailed instructions.
Lows: The rear support and magnetos have not been moulded.
Verdict: This appears to be a very good 1:72 drop-in replacement for many of the kits on the market plastic or resin.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:72
  Mfg. ID: #72104
  Suggested Retail: $12.25
  Related Link: Website
  PUBLISHED: Aug 27, 2013
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

Our Thanks to Roll Models!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Stephen T. Lawson (JackFlash)

I was building Off topic jet age kits at the age of 7. I remember building my first WWI kit way back in 1964-5 at the age of 8-9. Hundreds of 1/72 scale Revell and Airfix kits later my eyes started to change and I wanted to do more detail. With the advent of DML / Dragon and Eduard I sold off my ...

Copyright ©2021 text by Stephen T. Lawson [ JACKFLASH ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


Hi Stephen, What a beauty! This gem could eclipse whatever airframe it is mounted to!
AUG 27, 2013 - 07:42 AM

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