When the first aviators sought engines to power their flying machines nearly a century ago, they did so in a world of rapid and exciting progress. This was a time of experiment and adventure, in which it soon became clear that what was needed was an engine that could give ample power but within reasonable limits of weight and bulk. That has been the criterion ever since, and still is. Here, expert aviation author Bill Gunston takes a thorough look at the history, development and application of these remarkable power plants, from those used by the Wright Brothers for their pioneering flights in the early 1900s right up to the small engines fitted to microlights today. He assesses what has led to the present state of piston aero engine design, as well as giving some thoughts on what the future might hold. Also included is a comprehensive review of all today's engines: air-cooled, liquid-cooled, units derived from basic automotive (car) designs, as well as some unconventional models. This fully updated second edition includes details of new families of engines being developed at the present time, as well as suggestions as to what the future might hold.