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Liberty 12 Model A Engine

Liberty 12 Model A Engine

Accession #: loan
Credit: Lent by the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum


Lincoln Motor Company, Detroit, Michigan (Manufacturer)

Dimensions / Weight

Dimensions: 41.5" H x 67.375" W x 27" D

Physical Description

Manufactured during World War I, this 12 cylinder engine liquid-cooled and uses dual ignition. The engine can create 420 horsepower and run at 700 rpm. The ignition and lead wires have been removed for display.

General History

Considered to be America's greatest technological contribution during the war, Liberty 12-A engines were used primarily to power DeHavilland DH-4 biplanes. During the war, 20,478 Liberty 12s were produced by motor companies such as Packard, Lincoln, Ford, General Motors, Nordyke, and Marmon. About 400 American-made DH-4s saw combat duty during WW I. For two decades after the First World War, these engines were used by the Army Air Corps in a variety of aircraft. Some engines were also used by Russian and British tanks during the Second World War.


Countries: France, Germany, United States
State: Michigan
War: World War I
Services: Army, Air Force
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