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Cliff Ward,                 Cary, North Carolina

Satra M-5,  5 Cylinder Radial Engine



This project started as a “custom kit” of partially machined castings from Bruce Satra.  Since I am still a novice machinist, Bruce agreed to do the difficult machining on the crankcase and head castings, and saved the more straightforward tasks for me to machine.   I have always wanted to learn more about how radial engines work, and for me building the engine seemed the best way to accomplish this.  I also wanted to have a good chance at making a good running engine, so having Bruce handle the more difficult machining jobs allowed me to get this engine built while my machining skills are developing.

The photo of the set-up in my Benchmaster mill is where I am finishing up the internal bearing carrier….this was a rather more involved part than I first thought, as it has to hold to three decimal places in several areas (OD., ID, and a raised area) in the lathe and then 12 holes are to be drilled on a radial circle (the Benchmaster mill photo)….I made a special jig to hold it in my rotary table for these holes so the aluminum part could be held steady without deforming the piece.  I imagine there must be at least 50 easier ways a more experienced machinist might have done the job.  Once complete the bearing carrier was a gentle press fit in the crankcase.

 At the current time I am fitting each head to it’s respective location on the crankcase (2nd photo).  In order to provide clearance over the pistons I am shaving portions of each piston dome…it’s a bit of a of tedious file, trial, fit process.  But things are just about finished with that portion so I should have it buttoned up pretty soon.

Next come assembling the distributor, and making an exhaust ring.  After that I should be ready to fit it all on a wood stand for first run.


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