Gnome Omega

The Gnome 7 Omega (commonly called the Gnome 50 hp) is a French seven-cylinder, air-cooled aero engine produced by Gnome et Rhône.[2] It was shown at the Paris Aero Salon held in December 1908 and was first flown in 1909. It was the world's first[1] aviation rotary engine produced in quantity. Its introduction revolutionized the aviation industry[3] and it was used by many early aircraft. It produced 37 kW (50 hp) from its 8 L (490 cu in) engine capacity.[4] A Gnome Omega engine powers the 1912 Blackburn Monoplane, owned and operated by the Shuttleworth Collection, the oldest known airworthy British-designed aeroplane worldwide.[5] A two-row version of the same engine was also produced, known as the Gnome 14 Omega-Omega or Gnome 100 hp. The prototype Omega engine still exists, and is on display at the United States' National Air and Space Museum.[2]

Gnome Omega RAFM.jpg
Gnome 7 Omega on display at the Royal Air Force Museum London
Type Rotary aero engine
Manufacturer Société des Moteurs Gnome
First run 1908
Major applications Blériot XI
Bristol Boxkite
Number built 4,000 until 1914[1]
sectional views of the Gnome Omega


Gnome 7 Omega
Single-row 7-cyl. original version; 50 hp (37 kW).
Gnome 14 Omega-Omega
Two-row, 14-cylinder version using Omega cylinders; 100 hp (75 kW).


Gnome 7 OmegaEdit

Gnome Omega-powered airworthy Blackburn Monoplane of the Shuttleworth Collection
Gnome 14 Omega-Omega, as shown in a 1913 Gnome catalog.

Gnome 14 Omega-OmegaEdit

Engines on displayEdit

Specifications (7 Omega)Edit

Brown staining of the Shuttleworth example caused by burnt castor oil

Data from Lumsden.[4]

General characteristics



  • Power output: 37 kW (50 hp) at 1,200 rpm

See alsoEdit

Comparable engines

Related lists



  • Hurley, Nick (2018). "Gnome 7 Omega". New England Air Museum. Archived from the original on August 18, 2018. Retrieved Aug 17, 2018.
  • Lumsden, Alec (2003). British Piston Engines and their Aircraft. Marlborough, Wiltshire, UK: Airlife Publishing. ISBN 1853102946.
  • Murphy, Justin D. (2005). Military aircraft, origins to 1918 : an illustrated history of their impact. Santa Barbara, Calif. [u.a.]: ABC-CLIO. pp. 32–33. ISBN 1-85109-488-1.
  • Nahum, Andrew (1999). The rotary aero engine. London, UK: Science Museum. pp. 12–14. ISBN 1-900747-12-X.
  • Schiere, J (1969) [1913]. "Aeroplanes & Dirigibles: Argentine". In Jane, Fred T. (ed.). Jane's All the World's Aircraft. 1913. New York, NY: Arco Publishing Company Inc. LCCN 69-14964. Retrieved Aug 17, 2018.
  • Smithsonian Institution (2018). "Gnome Omega No. 1 Rotary Engine". National Air and Space Museum. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution. Archived from the original on August 17, 2018. Retrieved Aug 17, 2018.
  • Shuttleworth (2018). "Blackburn Monoplane". Shuttleworth Collection. Archived from the original on August 18, 2018. Retrieved Aug 17, 2018.

Further readingEdit

  • Moteurs d'Aviation Gnome (PDF) (in French). 49, Rue Lafitte, Paris: Société Des Moteurs Gnome. 1910. Retrieved 19 June 2018.CS1 maint: location (link)

External linksEdit