Morehouse, Wright-Morehouse, Lincoln (US)

Harold E. Morehouse began his career as a draftsman for Dayton-Wright Aeroplane Co. of Dayton, Ohio from 1917-1919. He then joined the Power Plant Design Branch at McCook Field of the U.S. Army in February 1920 and remained until September 1925. While there, he developed the two horizontally-opposed Morehouse engines described in this section, at least partly on his own time. After he joined the Wright Aeronautical Corp. of Paterson, New Jersey, his second engine was produced as the Wright-Morehouse WM-80. The design and manufacturing rights later were sold to the Lincoln Aircraft Company of Lincoln, Nebraska. This firm was a well-known aircraft manufacturer of the 1920's and 1930's. They merged with the American Eagle Aircraft Corp. of Kansas City, Kansas in 1931. Lincoln offered the WM-80 as the Lincoln Rocket. The rights to the engine were owned finally by National Airplane and Motor Co. of Billings, Montana from about 1934 although they apparently did not manufacture any O-80 engines. However, their National 35 was likely based upon it. Eventually, in the 1950s, Rod Nimmo, a Lockheed engineer and light aircraft/race plane designer owned the rights and remaining inventory of the Morehouse O-80, including spare parts, according to aircraft historian John Underwood in Sk#82(4/07).

At Wright Aeronautical, Morehouse worked on the J-5, the original Wright R-1750 Cyclone 9, the V-1456, and the J-6 series. He joined Driggs Aircraft Company and the Michigan Aero-Engine Corp. of Lansing, Michigan early in 1929. There he designed two Michigan Rover inline 4-cylinder, inverted, air-cooled engines (TC = 25 on 6/8/29 and TC = 37 on 1/4/30). In September 1932, Morehouse joined Continental, where he worked on the A-40, the O-1430, and the early development of the A-50. He joined Engineering & Research Corp. (Erco) of Riverdale, Maryland in April 1937 and developed their inline 4-cylinder, inverted, air-cooled engine (TC = 209 on 2/20/39). Finally, he joined Lycoming in October 1939 after the O-145 had been developed initially. Morehouse was instrumental in the development of the O-235, O-290, O-350, O-435, and succeeding Lycoming piston engines until his retirement at the end of 1965 (BGE, BGP, ELT, S).

Ernest L. True wrote a useful biographical sketch of Harold Morehouse (ELT). Morehouse, himself, told of his early life and his development of the two Morehouse engines described here in Paul Matt's "Historical Aviation Album 3" (PMHAA3), including photos of both engines and a detailed three-view drawing of the O-80.

O-42 -- {3.0 / 3.0 / 42.4} / {76.2 / 76.2 / 695}

2cyl; Morehouse M-42; 15hp@2400rpm; 1924; Wt = 51#; TC = none.
Single-ignition engine; designed by Morehouse and built in a small quantity for the U.S. Army by Steel Products Engineering Company of Springfield, Ohio, who also built engines for other engine designers.
Applications: (US) Inflation pump for ballonets on Army Lighter-Than-Air (LTA) craft.

O-80 -- {3.75 / 3.625 / 80.1} / {95.3 / 92.1 / 1312}

2cyl; Morehouse O-80, Wright-Morehouse WM-80, Lincoln Rocket; 29hp@2500rpm; 1924-1934; Wt = 90#; TC = none.
Single-ignition engine; one W-M experimental version was geared to 0.365 with a 14# weight increase and another had aluminum pistons in place of the standard cast-iron pistons - neither was marketed.
Ae39; AprgHBSu68; ELT; PMHAA3; S; Sk#82(4/07).
Applications: (US) Driggs Dart monoplane (U.S. Army Air Service); Hansen (Heath derivative) Baby Bullet #1 monoplane [11351]; Kreider-Reisner Model A Midget; Lincoln Playboy pusher monoplane; Roché/Dohse flivver monoplane (predecessor of the Aeronca C-2).


Updated 3/3/08