Discussion in 'Dodge Challenger General Discussions' started by SRT-Tom, Jun 24, 2020.
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We really need to remember where these originally came from:
Check out this article from last year.
To be fair, the hemispherical combustion chamber didn't originate with the Chrysler "Hemi". Not even close. Chrysler simply trademarked the term "Hemi" and used it extensively in their advertising so it's likely the most widely recognized use of the Hemi head but far from the "original".
You're correct. Alan R. Welch and his brothers, owners of the Welch Motor Car Company, are credited for pioneering the first hemispherical engine. The power plant was a simple 20-horsepower, 2-cylinder engine with a single overhead camshaft. Although the General Motors discontinued the HEMI in 1910 when it bought Welch, Peugeot developed its own hemispherical engine. BMW mass-produced a HEMI version before Chrysler engineered it for modern use.
The Welch design served as a blueprint for Chrysler's design of the modern Hemi engine. In 1945, it was used in the P-47 Thunderbolt fighter plane. The engine was an inverted V16 rated at 2,500 hp. Although it did not go into production, it gave Chrysler engineers valuable research and development experience with two-valve hemi combustion chamber dynamics. In addition to the aircraft engine, Chrysler and Continental worked together to develop the air-cooled V12 Hemi engine used in the M47 Patton tank.
Chrysler applied their military experience with the hemispherical combustion chamber to their first overhead-valve V8 engine, released under the name FirePower, for the 1951 model year.
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