An X engine is a piston engine comprising twinned V-block engines horizontally-opposed to each other. Thus, the cylinders are arranged in four banks, driving a common crankshaft. Viewed head-on, this would appear as an X. X engines were often coupled engines derived from existing powerplants.

This configuration is extremely uncommon, primarily due its weight and complexity as compared to a radial engine. However, it was more compact (per number of cylinders) than a V-engine. Most examples of X engines are from the World War II era, and were designed for large military aircraft. The majority of these are X-24's based on existing V-12's. The following are examples of this engine type:

  • Ford, as an X-8 prototype during the 1920s that led the way to the company's eventual Flathead V-8.[1][2]
  • Daimler Benz DB 604, developed for the Luftwaffe’s Bomber B program. Development suspended.
  • Isotta-Fraschini Zeta R.C. 24/60, developed for the Caproni F6 fighter, but never fully completed before Italy’s surrender in 1943.
  • Rolls-Royce Vulture, based on two Peregrines and the powerplant of the ill-fated Avro Manchester bomber and the Hawker Tornado fighter.
  • Rolls-Royce Exe, an air-cooled sleeve valve prototype engine.
  • Napier Cub, a water cooled X-16 engine of the 1920s, which powered the prototype Blackburn Cubaroo torpedo bomber.
  • Honda is said to have experimented with an X-32 engine configuration in the 1960s for their Formula One racing efforts, but abandoned the design as being too complex and unreliable.

See Also[]

Piston engine configurations
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Type BourkeControlled combustionDelticOrbitalPistonPistonless (Wankel) •
RadialRotarySingleSplit cycleStelzerTschudi
Inline types H · U · Square four · VR · Opposed · X
Stroke cycles Two-stroke cycleFour-stroke cycleSix-stroke cycle
Straight Single · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6 · 8 · 10 · 12 · 14
Flat 2 · 4 · 6 · 8 · 10 · 12 · 16
V 4 · 5 · 6 · 8 · 10 · 12 · 16 · 20 · 24
W 8 · 12 · 16 · 18
Valves Cylinder head portingCorlissSlideManifoldMultiPistonPoppet
SleeveRotary valveVariable valve timingCamless
Mechanisms CamConnecting rodCrankCrank substituteCrankshaft
Scotch YokeSwashplateRhombic drive
Linkages EvansPeaucellier–LipkinSector straight-lineWatt's (parallel)
Other HemiRecuperatorTurbo-compounding