Dennis Fadden designed both the 1-cylinder and the 3-cylinder engines in the early 1990s. Bruce Satra, Utah, made the cylinder and head castings for both engines, but Fadden machined the crankcase for the 1-cylinder engine from bar stock (billet) material.
To produce the 3-cylinder radial engine, Fadden made patterns from wood and used the patterns to sand cast the crankcase and gear case from aluminum. Then he machined the castings and internal parts.
Both engines have spark ignition and burn regular gasoline or methanol mixed with oil for lubrication. Most 1-cylinder spark ignition engines utilize a timer assembly (moveable set of points) governed by the crankshaft to trip the coil that fires the spark plug. In a 4-cycle engine, the spark plug fires every revolution, wasting the spark on exhaust fumes. To eliminate this problem in the 1-cylinder engine, Fadden added the camshaft-driven distributor with a rotor to direct the high-tension electricity from the coil to the spark plug.