By | 2:32 AM Leave a Comment

Everyone loves a rotary engine, no matter where your passions in the automotive landscape lie. Even if you're an ardent blubbery cammed V8 fan, the high-revving scream of a rotary powertrain is bound to get your petrolhead senses tingling.
The only problem is there aren't that many around, thanks to a torrid reliability record and a talent for drinking oil and fuel with ease. But as far as the engineering goes, rotaries are about as cool and quirky as internal combustion engines can get. And thanks to the guys at Warped Perception, we get to see how a rotary's combustion cycle looks from the inside.

Using the tiny rotary engine from a model aircraft, we get to see just how these little technical wonders work, with future episodes looking to explore the larger and more complicated units found in the likes of the Mazda RX-8.
The rotary engine still features the same cycles as a standard IC engine, starting with an intake stroke, then compression, then combustion and finally an exhaust stroke. The difference is these cycles all take place around an eccentric shaft - the rotary equivalent of a crankshaft. And instead of a piston, we have a Dorito-shaped rotor that spins its way around the rotary chamber at a much higher rate than any normal reciprocating piston.
The real shame is that this technology is pretty much dead, with Mazda only hinting towards using rotary technology in-tandem with its upcoming hybrid systems. So with regards to solely powering a brand new RX car, the Wankel is pretty much done and dusted.
In terms of internal dynamics, a rotary actually makes more sense than a traditional piston engine as every main moving part is rotating around the same axis, rather than pistons that come to a grinding halt after every stroke. But the intrinsic burning of oil in its running means that efficiency is poor and once those apex seals on the rotary wear down, it's engine rebuild time.
We all love a rotary and we all want to see it make a comeback. It just needs some work.