The first speedboat engine using the Wankel rotary principle has been successfully tested in Florida.?
The first speedboat engine using the Wankel rotary principle has been successfully tested in Florida. The engine will make its first entry in competition on Sunday (March 4) in a nine hour endurance race in Parker, Arizona.
The rotary engine, first mass-produced for Japanese cars, is now to be introduced in 1974 in several lines of General Motors cars. GM has tied up 50 million dollars (GBP 20 million approx) in the engine, favoured for its small size and relatively low-polluting operation.
The rotary engine uses no pistons or crankshaft but an orbiting rotor.
The new outboard engine is aluminum, using four rotors. Its developers, Outboard Marine Corporation, mounted a display of the engine at a Miami, Florida, lagoon.
The boat was driven by Jim McConnell, test driver for the Evinrude Motor Division, who will drive the boat in the Arizona competition.
Mr. Bill Muncie, the 1972 champion driver of unlimited hydroplanes (the racing class which includes the new engine) was interviewed about the new engine and a transcript of his comments on film follows: