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> Wankel Engine Issue: 2010-3 Section: 14-16



Vasil Vasilev Stefanov, Boiko Ramunski

Ivan Denkoglu, Sofia, Bulgaria


All started with the patenting of petrol engine in 1886 by the German engineer Karl Benz. This is a four-piston internal combustion engine. In 1902 the genius inventor Felix Wankel was born in the country of engineers, Germany.

During World War II, he produced rotor shafts for German Military Air Forces. After the war, Wankel was broke and his factory was closed. However in 1951 he was offered a job in German’s car company NSU and in 1957 the prototype was ready with a rotary engine.

Wankel rotary engine is an internal combustion engine in which the piston (with a triangular shape) revolves around the axis slightly displaced from its center. It has fewer moving parts and fewer losses associated with them. In its rotation, the piston forms three chambers, whose volumes are constantly changing. In each of these processes induction, compression, power and exhaust release are carried out. Also because of fewer moving parts, the work of the engine is very stable and there’s no vibration like in ordinary engines.

The purpose of internal combustion is to reduce friction (no engine valves, camshafts, beating, cylinder head, etc.) and weight of the gasoline engine’s pist

but also recruiting a much higher speed than the piston engine. From a small cylinder the power that is earned is bigger compared to the power of a piston engine. The only drawback is the high cost of gasoline and oil, as well as deterioration of the very rapid rotation of the rotor.

The rotor or so-called Wankel engine is housed in many sport vehicles. In 1961 NSU Wankel sold development of proven quality company for cars Mazda. In 1978 Mazda sport presents its model RX-7, which earned 105 hp of its rotary engine which is sufficient for speeds of 200 km/h. This car was so fast that the media compare it with sport cars like Porsche and Ferrari. Mazda’s rotary engine used today in the sports model RX-8 which marks success after success. We can say that the inventor Felix Wankel is alive today, and will be alive as long as we use his amazing invention, namely the rotary engine!