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de Havilland Gipsy Major / Gipsy IIIA





The de Havilland Gipsy Major or Gipsy IIIA is a four-cylinder, air-cooled, inline engine, first run in 1932, and used in a variety of light aircraft produced in the 1930s, including the Tiger Moth biplane.


The engine was a slightly modified Gipsy III, which was effectively a de Havilland Gipsy engine modified to run inverted so that the cylinders pointed downwards below the crankcase. This allowed the propeller shaft to be kept in a high position without having the cylinders blocking the pilot's forward view over the nose of the aircraft. One initial disadvantage of the inverted configuration was the high oil consumption (up to four pints per hour) requiring regular refills of the external oil tank, this problem improved over time with the use of modified piston rings. The Major was a slightly bored-out (118 mm from 114 mm) Gipsy III. First built in 1932, total production of all Gipsy Major versions was 14,615 units.


The CNIAR 4GI was a licence-built 130 hp De Havilland Gipsy Major.


In Canada the Gipsy Major was the engine of choice for the DHC1 Chipmunk trainer, which later replaced the Tiger Moth in the RAF. By that time however, the Gipsy Major was eclipsed by the Blackburn Cirrus Major and the American Lycoming and Continental horizontally opposed engines. In its final supercharged form, the Gipsy Major used in helicopter applications delivered 220 hp (164 kW).


Gipsy Major I
Gipsy Major IC - Higher compression ratio (6:1) and maximum RPM for racing use.
Gipsy Major ID - Fuel pump added, plus screened ignition harness and priming system.
Gipsy Major IF - Aluminium cylinder heads, 5.25:1 compression ratio.
Gipsy Major 7 - Military version of Gipsy Major 1D, increased climb RPM.
Gipsy Major 8 - Sodium cooled exhaust valves, cartridge starter for DHC Chipmunk.
Gipsy Major 10 - Electric starter option.
Gipsy Major 30 - Major redesign, bore and stroke increased. 6.5:1 compression ratio.
Gipsy Major 50 - Supercharged. 197 hp.
Gipsy Major 200 - Designed as a light helicopter engine. 200 hp.
Gipsy Major 215 - Turbo-supercharged helicopter engine. 220 hp.


Airspeed Ferry
AISA I-115
Arrow Active
Auster Aiglet
Auster Autocar
Auster Autocrat
Beagle Terrier
Boulton Paul P.92
British Aircraft Cupid
British Aircraft Eagle
British Aircraft Double Eagle
Blackburn B-2
Chrislea Super Ace
Comper Mouse
Comper Streak
Comper Swift
De Bruyne Snark
de Havilland Dragon
de Havilland Dragonfly
de Havilland Australia DHA-3 Drover
DHC-1 Chipmunk
de Havilland Fox Moth
de Havilland Hornet Moth
de Havilland Leopard Moth
de Havilland Moth Major
de Havilland Puss Moth
de Havilland Tiger Moth
de Havilland T.K.2
de Havilland T.K.4
Elliotts Newbury Eon
Fairey Primer
Foster Wikner Wicko
General Aircraft Cygnet Major
General Aircraft Monospar
Handley Page Manx
Hirtenberg HS.9
Ikarus Aero 2
Koolhoven F.K.43
Koolhoven FK.47
Koolhoven F.K.54
Miles Aerovan
Miles Falcon Major
Miles Gemini
Miles Hobby
Miles Hawk Trainer
Miles M.35 Libellula
Miles M.39B Libellula
Miles Magister
Miles Mercury
Miles Messenger
Miles Minor
Miles Monarch
Miles Sparrowhawk
Miles Whitney Straight
Percival Gull Major
Reid and Sigrist Desford
Rogozarski SIM-Х
Saab 91 Safir
Saunders-Roe Skeeter
Spartan Cruiser
Stampe SV.4
Thruxton Jackaroo
VL Viima



Gipsy Major I
Type: 4-cylinder air-cooled inverted inline piston aircraft engine
Bore: 4.646 in (118 mm)
Stroke: 5.512 in (140 mm)
Displacement: 373.7 in³ (6.124 L)
Length: 48.3 in (1227 mm)
Width: 20.0 in (508 mm)
Height: 29.6 in (752 mm)
Dry weight: 300 lb (136 kg) Mk 1F to 322 lb (146 kg) Mk 1D
Valvetrain: OHV
Fuel system: Downdraught Hobson A.I.48 H3M (Mk 1C and Mk 7) or H1M (others)
Oil system: Dry sump, gear-type pump
Cooling system: Air-cooled
Power output: 122 hp at 2,100 rpm, 145 hp (108 kW) at 2,550 rpm
Specific power: 0.39 hp/in³ (17.6 kW/L)
Compression ratio: 5.25:1 (Mk 1 and 1F) or 6.0:1 (others)
Fuel consumption: 6.5 to 6.75 gph (28.4 to 30.7 L/h) at 2,100 rpm
Oil consumption: 1.75 pints (0.99 L) per hour.
Power-to-weight ratio: 0.48 hp/lb (0.78 kW/kg)



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