about
company history
From its formation in 1981, Radial Engines, Ltd. has become the world’s premier FAA Certified Repair Station specializing in the Jacobs, Continental, and Lycoming radial aircraft engines. Seventeen highly trained and skilled craftsmen turn out a factory new limit engine every three days. Over 600 engines have been delivered to customers, and are today powering aircraft in twenty countries on every continent. From our large parts inventory we ship daily to the four corners of the world to keep the antique aircraft fleet in the air.

Beginning in 1994, Radial Engines, Ltd became the sole provider of engines to the WACO Classic Aircraft Corporation and Centennial Aircraft Services of Battle Creek, Michigan. To date, WACO Classic has produced over 110 of their model of the 1935 WACO YMF5 biplane (see links) and has a standing order for one new engine every month.

As the reputation of Radial Engines, Ltd. grew in aviation and public circles, some unusual projects came along. In early 1999, Steve was contacted by Walt Disney Imagineering in Glendale, California to build a mock-up of a radial powered aircraft for display at their Disneyland theme park. Click here for photos and more about the Disney project.

In 2004, Radial Engines, Ltd was granted three STC approvals to install fuel injection on the Jacobs R755A2 and R755B2 engines and to fit these engines to the WACO YMF5 and Cessna 195 aircraft, taking radial engine performance, economy, and reliability to a whole new level. New fuel injection projects are now open with the FAA to fuel inject other radial engines and STCs are under way to approve their installation on other aircraft models.

REL also has provided numerous engines to many well known and respected antique & classic aircraft repair facilities such as Rare Aircraft, Barron Aviation, The 195 Factory, Vintage Wings & Wheels, Tupelo Aero, The Texas Air Museum, Blackbarn Aviation Ltd (UK), and Butterfly Aviation.

Through a culture of innovation, quality, dependability, and customer care, Radial Engines, Ltd delivers the finest engine overhauls and parts in the world today, coupled with expertise and technicians who stand with you for the life of your engine. Feel free to call us and discuss your specific needs.
the walt disney project
In early 1999 Radial Engines, Ltd. was contacted by Walt Disney Imagineering in Glendale, California. It seems that Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI), which supplies all Disney theme parks with displays, needed a radial engine display to go to a park in Japan. We quoted them on the project (which included a mock-up engine, radial engine tools, a Beech 18 door, and aircraft tires) and were awarded the contract.

Shortly after this project was finished, we were again contacted by WDI. This time a new theme park was being built next to Disneyland in Anaheim and WDI was interested in having a Cessna 195 built up as the centerpiece for the aviation portion of that park. We responded with a quotation, they accepted, and we were off and running in the world of Mickey, Minnie, and Cessna 195 mock-ups.
In order to meet WDI's requirements that the aircraft have no fuel, hydraulic fluids, or radium, and that it be readily approachable by the public (people friendly), much work was necessary.

The airframe was stripped of interior, paint, and instruments. All fuel cells, fuel lines, and brake lines were removed. A beautiful instrument panel was built of overhauled-looking (but completely unserviceable) instruments. We built a dummy Jacobs engine which was detailed in every way like one of our overhauls, but weighed 233 pounds less (we must have left something out!) All trailing edges of wings, ailerons, elevator, and rudder were covered with split PVC water pipe to prevent the diamond shape cut in the forehead that comes from walking into a Cessna wing. The interior of the outer skin was covered with two inches of spray foam insulation to prevent oil canning and dents (caused by park patrons pressing against the airframe). New interior upholstery and windshield were installed and the airframe was painted with silver Imron. A little more than a year after its arrival at Radial Engines, Ltd., the completed airplane was ready to travel to its Southern California home.

Once in California, the WDI artists added exterior stripes and "aged" the interior with airbrushes. In November of 2000, two Radial Engines, Ltd. employees went to Anaheim to assemble the airplane and give it its final touches.
The Cessna 195 can now be seen at the Disney California Adventure theme park which opened Feb 8, 2001.