This is the first running model airplane engine that Irv Ohlsson ever built. Mr. Ohlsson became one of the pioneering figures in model airplane engine manufacturing with Ohlsson & Rice, starting with this 2-cycle gas engine. 

As the story goes, Irv sold this small engine soon after building it. Many years later at a trade show, a gentleman walked up to Irv and handed him the same engine, saying, “I believe this is yours.” Before Mr. Ohlsson could properly thank him, the man had walked away, never identifying himself or explaining how he came to own the first Ohlsson engine. 

The engine was built in 1935 by Irv Ohlsson and Roland Barney. At the time, it was the smallest of its kind. The engine has a bore of .600”, a stroke of .600”, and weighs 15 oz. The engine could power a model airplane for 6 minutes on 1/4 oz. of fuel.

Exhibit added: August 20, 2015 - Last modified: April 8, 2024

Presented by The Joe Martin Foundation for Exceptional Craftsmanship