Rubber motors

Gallery opened: 6 May 2015

Updated: 18 May 2015
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A rubber motor is not an internal-combustion engine made with rubber parts (which would be an interesting engineering challenge) nor indeed some sort of fetishistic engineering. Perish the thought.

A rubber motor is just a more serious version of the twisted rubber band that turns the propellor on some lightweight model aircraft. Much advice on making and caring for rubber motors can be found at

The historical article below is reproduced in its entirety, as it is, to the best of my knowledge, about the summit of study and thinking on the matter. Four rubber motors geared together have been fitted into the fuselage, with two of them running transversely through the wings.

I do not consider myself competent to criticise Mr Russell's article. All I can say is that it looks as if he knows what he is talking about. Research has shown that he certainly had a reputation for taking a scientific approach to aircraft modelling. See this review:

Left: Review of book by D A Russell

From Flight 2 Sept 1937

Further research shows that DA Russel was a remarkable man with a wide range of technical and commercial interests. Here are some biographical details.

Above: Multiple rubber motor for a model locomotive

The motor consists of three skeins of rubber; there is one at the top, and two at the bottom with the angled drive shaft passing between them. The skeins are geared together at each end. Note the winding hook at the extreme right.

From Newnes Popular Mechanics Dec 1935

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