Skip to main content
Select Source:

rotary engine

rotary engine, internal-combustion engine whose cycle is similar to that of a piston engine, but which produces rotary motion directly without any conversion from reciprocating motion. A major problem associated with engines of this type is preventing the leakage of combustion gases. The only type of rotary engine currently considered to be of practical value is the Wankel engine (see internal-combustion engine). Although the gas turbine produces rotary motion directly, it is not generally considered a rotary engine because it functions differently.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"rotary engine." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Nov. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"rotary engine." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 18, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/rotary-engine

"rotary engine." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved November 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/rotary-engine

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Wankel rotary engine

Wankel rotary engine Internal combustion engine with rotors instead of pistons, invented in the 1950s by German engineer Felix Wankel (1902–88). Each triangular rotor turns inside a close-fitting casing. Gaps between the casing and rotor form three crescent-shaped combustion chambers. Each chamber goes through a sequence of events similar to those in a four-stroke engine with pistons.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Wankel rotary engine." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Nov. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Wankel rotary engine." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 18, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/wankel-rotary-engine

"Wankel rotary engine." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved November 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/wankel-rotary-engine

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.