Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 140,143 pages of information and 227,382 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Bristol Engine Co: Titan

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Note: This is a sub-section of Bristol Engine Co

The Bristol Titan was a five cylinder air cooled radial engine produced by the Bristol Engine Co. It had the same size cylinders as the earlier Mercury engine, 5.75 in x 6.5 in and produced between 200-240hp. The Bristol Titan also used a Farman style reduction gear produced by Gnome-Rhône.

The major significance of the Titan was that it was licensed to Gnome-Rhône and became the pattern for the Gnome-Rhône 5K. In 1927 Gnome-Rhône was looking for ways out of its licence agreement with Bristol for the Jupiter engine of 1920 and began to produce the Gnome-Rhône 5K without royalties.

The Gnome-Rhône 5K was built in much greater numbers than the original Bristol Titan. Gnome-Rhône was not satisfied with simply producing Bristol designs under licence, and started a major design effort based around the mechanicals of the Titan engine. The results were introduced in 1927 as the K-series, spanning the 260 hp (190 kW) Gnome-Rhône 5K Titan, the 7-cylinder 370 hp (270 kW) the Gnome-Rhône 7K Titan Major, and the 9-cylinder 550 hp (405 kW) Gnome-Rhône 9K Mistral. With the introduction of the K-series, Gnome-Rhône finally ended royalty payments to Bristol.

By 1930 they had delivered 6,000 Jupiters, Mistrals and Titans, making them the largest engine company in France.

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