Art Gaier’s 1910 2-1/2 HP fluted-hopper Aermotor on display at the 2008 Tri-State Gas Engine and Tractor Assn. show in Portland, Ind.
Manufacturer: Aermotor Co. Chicago, Ill.
Flywheel diameter: 24 inches
If there’s one thing that can be said for Aermotor Co. gas engines, it’s that they’re easy to spot in a crowd. The most familiar of these is the 8-cycle pumping engine. But every once in a while, you’ll come across the unique and attractive fluted-hopper engine. And if it looks anything like Art Gaier’s 1910 2-1/2 HP example, you’re in for a treat.
Art acquired his engine back in 1975. “The guy that owned it was an original member of the Tri-State Gas Engine and Tractor Assn.,” says Art. Having been under the care of a serious collector, the engine was in decent shape when Art bought it. “It wasn’t all that bad,” he recalls. “It had some blow-by when I got it so I made the bore true and had a new piston cast to fit it.” Art also sandblasted it, repainted it and polished the flywheels.
When looking at Art’s engine, the eye is naturally drawn to the fluted-hopper. As a 1910 Aermotor ad explains: “There is only one Fluted Sheet Steel Hopper, and that is the one used on Aermotor engines. It is far ahead of the thick cast iron hoppers which radiate heat only from the top. The Aermotor Fluted Cooler affords the great advantages of very thin walls between the water and the air, and large radiating surface.”
In American Gasoline Engines Since 1872, C.H. Wendel adds that the engine was available in 2-1/2 and 5 HP, and carried a hefty shipping weight of 600 and 1,000 pounds respectively. While Aermotor fluted-hopper engines were available until at least 1920, it wasn’t a design that other companies picked up. “It never really caught on because it’s hard to get in to and clean,” says Art.
Art’s engine has a 4-1/8-inch bore and 6-inch stroke. The flywheels are 24 inches in diameter and weigh 100 pounds each. “This engine has low compression and heavy flywheels, so it runs well,” says Art.
Contact Art Gaier at 10905 Reed Rd., Versailles, OH 45380-9702 • (937) 526-5960