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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Stella P.X
Phyrexian - Marina militare 000.jpg
A close cowled P.X fitted to an IMAM Ro.43 in 1940
Type Air cooled radial
National origin Italy
Manufacturer Piaggio
Designed by Renzo Spolti
Major applications IMAM Ro.43
Developed from Piaggio Stella P.IX

The Piaggio P.X, or Piaggio Stella P.X, was an Italian nine-cylinder radial aircraft engine produced by Rinaldo Piaggio S.p.A.. Based on experience license-producing Gnome et Rhône designs, the engine was used to power a number of aircraft during World War II, including the IMAM Ro.37bis and IMAM Ro.43, used extensively by the Regia Aeronautica and Regia Marina respectively.

Design and development

Piaggio acquired a license from Gnome et Rhône in 1925 for their engines derived from the Bristol Jupiter.[1] The designs proved successful and, using this experience, the company designed a range of related radial engines named "Stella", meaning star.[2] Design was led by the engineer Renzo Spolti.[3] The engines were initially known by their number of cylinders, so the first nine-cylinder model in the range was the P.IX of 1933. However, a progressive number in Roman numerals were used as the design progressed, so the P.IX was followed by the P.X.[2]

The Stella P.X was a nine cylinder version of the P.VII.[4] It retained the same bore and stroke as the original Gnome-Rhône designs, 146 mm (5.7 in) and 165 mm (6.5 in) respectively, but was substantially more powerful than the comparable 9K.[3] The engine had a two piece aluminium alloy crankcase and steel barrels for the cylinders and aluminium alloy heads. A Piaggio T2-80 updraught carburettor was fitted.[5] The basic version, the R., had reduction gear, while the R.C. was also equipped with a compressor.[2]

The engine powered Italian aircraft that served during World War II.[6] The IMAM Ro.43 was particularly noteworthy for its performance in the Battles of Cape Spartivento and Cape Matapan.[7]


P.X R.
Normally aspirated and geared.
P.X R.C.15
Supercharged and geared, rated at 1,500 m (4,900 ft).
P.X R.C.35
Supercharged and geared, rated at 3,500 m (11,500 ft).


Specifications (R.C.35)

Data from Wilkinson, 1945[5]

General characteristics



  • Power output:
    • Take-off: 640 hp (477 kW) at 2250 rpm
    • Cruise: 450 hp (336 kW) at 1800 rpm at 3,500 m (11,483 ft)
  • Compression ratio: 6.0:1
  • Specific fuel consumption: 300 g/kWh (0.48 lb/(hp·h))
  • Oil consumption: 8 g/kWh (0.018 lb/(hp·h))

See also

Related development

Comparable engines

Related lists



  1. ^ Gunston 1986, p. 125.
  2. ^ a b c "PXI RC40 engine". Museo Piaggio. Archived from the original on 26 August 2017. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
  3. ^ a b Angle 1939, p. 584.
  4. ^ Wilkinson 1945, p. 60.
  5. ^ a b Wilkinson 1945, p. 302.
  6. ^ Green 1967, p. 111.
  7. ^ Sadkovich 1994, p. 98.


  • Angle, Glenn Dale (1939). Aerosphere. New York.
  • Green, William (1967). War Planes of the Second World War: Volume Six – Floatplanes. London: Macdonald. ISBN 978-3-56014-509-1.
  • Gunston, Bill (1978). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Combat Aircraft of World War II. London: Salamander Books. ISBN 978-0-86101-017-2.
  • Gunston, Bill (1986). World Encyclopedia of Aero Engines. London: Guild Publishing. ISBN 978-0-85059-717-2.
  • Sadkovich, James (1994). The Italian Navy in World War II. Westport: Greenwood Press. ISBN 978-0-31328-797-8.
  • Thompson, Jonathon W. (1963). Italian Civil and Military Aircraft 1930–1945. USA: Aero Publishers Inc. ISBN 978-0-81686-500-0.
  • Wilkinson, Paul Howard (1945). Aircraft Engines of the World. New York: Paul H. Wilkinson. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
This page was last edited on 25 December 2020, at 17:23
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