The Cycle : Intake/Compression/Ignition/Exhaust
Written by Wesley Mahler   

The Rotary Engine Cycle

Observe, below, the cycle of a rotary engine. Run your mouse over each image to see additional info. Notice that each of the four strokes is represented by a side of the square and that Top Dead Center (TDC) and Bottom Dead Center (BDC), the minimum and maximum chamber volumes, are at the corners. The rotor is rotating at one third the forward rate of the eccentric shaft and it takes 270 degrees of eccentric shaft rotation between TDC and BDC, and vice versa, which is 90 degrees longer than the 180 degree stroke of a conventional piston engine.

Rotary Engine Illustrated Cycle

While we are concentrating on only one working chamber, for the sake of clarity, please note that each chamber is performing its own cycle, 120 degrees out of phase with its neighbor. In this way, the three chambers contribute to the production of one power stroke per rotor per revolution of the eccentric shaft, which yields twice the capacity of a piston engine of identical rated displacement.

Visualizing the volume of the working chambers is not as easy as doing so for the solid engine parts. The engine animation, below, should help you see the chamber as a dynamically changing volume that moves within the engine as it works through a cycle. Now, imagine this sequence occuring simultaneously, 120 degrees out of phase, on all three faces of the rotor.

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Rodrigo Cordeiro Mendes (IP: 2006-11-13 11:30:37

Esse motor me fasinou, é o melhor
very informative
manu (IP: 2007-03-09 15:13:58

great stuff man
i dig it, only if it had
dan (IP: 2007-06-18 23:07:02

more torque, or if would be possible to make a diesel version then fit it to truck, if mazda did it, it would be on top of the truck world,
neizod (IP: 2007-06-19 07:43:02

you make me understand now
thank you very much.
Michael (IP: 2007-07-09 12:39:43

I wonder if anyone knows that there is a way to get double the power out of one of these things?
Auto tech
Robert Rodriguez (IP: 2007-08-05 12:17:16

I am amazed about the dedication that Mr. Mahler has put into giving this information to the public and I have even gone to Mazda dealers and gotten nowhere near as close as to even getting an answer on how to learn the proper way to work on a rotary engine or if there is a school that will teach how to work on them either. Thank you very much for this information, and keep it coming.
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Last Updated ( 15.10.2006 )