The NOVA-1 4.5cc Side Port Diesel

Created: July 4, 1999
Last update: Aug 15, 2007

The Nova 1 is a long stroke, plain bearing, side-port diesel (compression ignition) model engine with an interesting history which I think I'll let our Kansas City Motor Boy, Roger Schroeder relate. In fact, Roger did a good percentage of the machining for my example of this Motor Boys project while I was living in the US, separated from my shop. As a typical MBI project, other parts came from other sources. The crankshaft was fabricated by Don McClusky in Texas, who also carved just about the most beautiful vintage prop to go with it. The brass fuel tank which features spun end plates and a *perfect* lap-seam join was formed and soldered up by Bert Striegler, also from Texas. My contribution was the backplate, the cylinder, the stuff inside it and the stuff hanging off it (the cylinder monster took three tries to get it right - I'm a slow learner).

This was another engine that started easily (in the hand, even) and is a delight to run. It swings a 16" prop with ease and makes surprisingly little noise - or perhaps not so surprising, given that its single exhaust port has about the cross sectional area of the outlet on a modern muffler. I doubt I'll ever bolt this engine into an airframe, but it is a delight to display, both statically and in anger.


For something different, check out Chris Dunn's Spark Ignition Nova-1.

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