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Thread: OMC’s 4-Rotor Wankel Racing Engine - The Real Story

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    Preserving OMC Heritage LIQUID NIRVANA's Avatar
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    1973 - PARKER 9 hour ENDURO - Preliminary Editorial






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    Many thanks to John Sheldon aka 'ROTARY JOHN' on BRF for providing the above literature.

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    Many thanks to John Sheldon aka 'ROTARY JOHN' on BRF for providing the above literature.

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    I was curious about a couple of things regarding the previous article. After John mentioned Mercury's work on RC engines, I wondered about all other companies doing research and the article mentioned Yanmar so I checked them out on the internet. They seem to be one of the premier manufacturers of diesel engines around the world and have a number of Marine models. Seems they built some test models that apparently ran on diesel. No mention of any RC engines in their lineup now.

    Secondly, Southwest Research Institute caught my attention. They are a world reknowned testing facility located on the southwestern side of San Antonio just inside Loop 410. The city is way past that now, but when I was a kid, everything just outside the loop was undeveloped countryside. Everytime we passed by there on the way to a skeet shoot, us kids would look out the window because they had a humongous cage about 200 feet inside the loop that was full of monkeys. In 1966 my Dad sent some of his newly patented "MX237 The Master Oil" up there to be tested. They found it to have the lowest coeffienct of friction of any oil they had ever tested up to that point. I was unable to find any archives they might have had regarding those tests, and I was, likewise, unsuccessful in finding any rotary combustion engine tests. I did come across this website though that contained a couple of blurbs about OMC RC engines, though in error on the racing status. I thought it was interesting though, because it named some of the other players and what they did.
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    Yesterday I bought some storage boxes for magazines to organize them so I can find what I'm looking for easier. While going through 1972 through 1975 issues, I kept having to stop and read. You cannot imagine how interesting it was to read about Ron Hill, Jimbo McConnell, Billy Seebold, John Schubert, Jerry Simison, Bob Hering, Jerry Waldman, Lee Sutter, and on and on. I need to organize them so I can find stuff easier in the future. In my searching I discovered that Powerboat did indeed cover the Red Adair North American Championships. It was Western Editor Rod Flint who wrote the articles and took the pictures. I wish I would have introduced myself. I was in awe of his work back then.
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    Default rotaries

    Wayne:
    Yanmar produced 2 rotary engine outboards back in the 70's. 18hp and I forget. They were heavy compared to the 2-cycles of the time. A Italian company also produced several outboards using Fitchel & Sachs engines; Mac 10 was the most popular. They were air cooled and as such didn't perform with conventional 2-strokes. Besides all 2-stroke 10 hp at the time were more like 12/13 hp, so performance wasn't equal.
    Southwest Research has done several rotary projects. I did some consulting work for them & the Natural Gas Institute on a natural gas fueled rotary for a residential heat pump. Carbon build up was the biggest problem and it never went into production.

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    So after all your experience with rotary combustion engines John, is there anything else on the horizon you may put your expertise to? I thought it quite interesting about your research at Southwest Research. How long were you there? And what was it like on the inside? It would be a fine tour to take a look at what goes on inside there in my opinion.



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    These two pieces come from the December 1973 Powerboat. The first one is the second page of Mel Zikes column. Maybe Ron has a little bit of "splainin'"to do.
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    These next two are from the January 1974 Powerboat.
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    I may have overlooked it, but this is the only ad I have come across for OMC RC's in Powerboat. It was April 1974. Hey John....is that you in the cockpit of the T.A.R.T. boat? Kind of hard to tell, but to me it looks like you. The original is a little clearer that this post, but not much.
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