Denny Righter Scratchpad 5 : Engines

Images will temporarily be placed here so you can enjoy them (and make comment) before they go on the site proper. Basically, I have to work out where they are best suited to what text support etc. This page is coded to be invisible to search engines. You can ony access it by knowing the URL. The images are not in any order - just as I made them


Righter Experimental Twin, 1939

Righter Family Archives

Fran Righter recalls : [It was a] "one piece crankcase with separate backplate. Small 2 cylinder, 2 cycle, simultaneous firing. Made from parts of an Evinrude Fisherman 1937 model outboard engine. The larger "Sidewinder" (twin) was the next engine made. (I remember going with Dad to buy the Evinrude Fisherman outboard engine--when I was seven years old)."






Testing the first Righter 2-Gs-17, Apr. 1941

Bill Wilkins at Don Whittier's home in La Crescenta, CA

Righter Family Archives


Righter 2-Gs-17

Righter Family Archives


Righter 2-Gs-17

download a 1500pixel image


OQ-2/2A, Righter 2-Gs-17

download a 1500pixel image


OQ-2/2A, Righter 2-Gs-17

download a 1500pixel image


OQ-2/2A, Righter 2-Gs-17 -?- to be confirmed

download a 1500pixel image


Righter 0-15-1, first prototype

download a 1000pixel image


Righter 0-15-1, 'English' model

Luca Mariotti

download a 1500pixel image


Righter 0-15-3

see alternate views  1 |  2 |  3

Fran Righter notes: "The first prototype of the O-15-1 was completed in May 1941 for the Radioplane OQ-2A which was also known as the RP-5A and in the Navy, the TDD-1 (Target Drone Denny). The OQ-2A had counter rotating propellers, push-pull control rods, landing gear, spring leaf tail skid, no wing drag bracing, carried 1.8 gallons of fuel and had level flight speed of 88mph

Its predecssor, the OQ-2 also known as the RP-5 had cable control (to surfaces), swivel tail skid, had drag bracing in the wings carried 1.2 gallons of fuel and had level flight speed of 85mph. The prototype was completed June, 1941

Its successor, the OQ-3, (Navy TDD-2) had heavier steel tube construction with keel, more refinement in installation, a single prop and no landing gear. It's level flight speed was 103 mph. The prototype was completed Dec., 1943.

Pete Soule comments re "...wing drag bracing...": "This aeronautical term is not (in my view) very descriptive. It refers to wire bracing inside the wings.

From the WWI period the paradigm of wood wings covered with cloth and painted with 'dope' -- an acetate based paint thinned with acetone -- was used for the next score of years. It was replaced by stressed skin metal construction in the following decade for larger and/or expensive aircraft ...but light planes and drones still stuck with the old ways.

Inside the wing wires running from the trailing edge to the leading edge and across from one rib to the other were used. Looking on top of the wing they made a pattern of repeating "X" 's criss-crossing between ribs. They added strength to the wing.

In a dive the drag force push the wing back and half of these wires are in tension. At high lift the wing is pushed forward and the other half of the wires are in tension -- from this the wire pairs were called "drag and anti-drag wires".

The drone may not have been likely to have needed these internal stiffeners and had originally been put in because that was the structural convention."


Righter 2-S-45

Righter Family Archives


Walter Righter holding the engine from RP-1

Photo : Jim Dunkin

Jim Dunkin notes: This picture was taken by a Dr. R.E. Nichol when I took him and a friend to visit with Walter Righter in 1967. Those are Walt's hands holding the first drone engine used on RP-1 ...probably made around 1937 or 1938.

I'm not positive but I suspect this is one of the casualties of the fire in the San Diego Aerospace Museum. I originally thought his model engines were lost but turns out the only one they had was in a safe and was returned and now is in the AMA Museum in Muncie."


© Copyright 1999-2003 CTIE - All Rights Reserved - Caution
Created and maintained by
Last updated May 17, 2003