It became evident during World War I that ever-increasing demands were being placed on the mean power of aircraft engines as a result of the increased on board equipment and the demands of aerial combat. The need was for increased climbing efficiency and climbing speed. The response to these demands has been in terms of lightweight construction and the adaptation of the aircraft engine to the requirements of its use. Discussed here are specific efforts to increase flying efficiency, such as reduction of the number of revolutions of the propeller from 1400 to about 900 r.p.m. through the use of a reduction gear, increasing piston velocity, locating two crankshafts in one gear box, and using the two-cycle stroke. Also discussed are improvements in the transformation of fuel energy into engine power, the raising of compression ratios, the use of super-compression with carburetors constructed for high altitudes, the use of turbo-compressors, rotary engines, and the use of variable pitch propellers.
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