H engine

For the Saab "H" engine (a straight-4), see Saab H engine. For the EMD "H-Engine", see EMD 265.
The BRM H16 Formula One engine in its final, 64-valve incarnation.
Animation of the piston movement when then crank pin is shared

An H engine (or H-block) is an engine configuration in which the cylinders are aligned so that if viewed from the front, they appear to be in a vertical or horizontal letter H.

An H engine can be viewed as two flat engines, one atop or beside the other. The "two engines" each have their own crankshaft, which are then geared together at one end for power-take-off. The H configuration allows the building of multi-cylinder engines that are shorter than the alternatives, sometimes delivering advantages on aircraft. For race-car applications there is the disadvantage of a higher centre of gravity, not only because one crankshaft is located atop the other, but also because the engine must be high enough off the ground to allow clearance underneath for a row of exhaust pipes. The power-to-weight ratio is not as good as simpler configurations employing one crankshaft. There is excellent mechanical balance, especially desirable and otherwise difficult to achieve in a four-cylinder engine.[1]

Two straight engines can be similarly joined to provide a U engine.

List of H engines

Aircraft engines

Napier Sabre H-24 engine. The two starboard 6-cylinder banks can be seen in this view

Other engines

Brough Superior H-4 motorcycle engine
A BRM H16 engine, mounted in the back of a BRM P83 Formula One car.

Other uses of H term

Subaru produces water-cooled flat-four and flat-six "Horizontally-opposed" engines that are marketed as H4 and H6 which are not to be confused with H-block engines. The naming scheme refers to engine description, similar to inline engines being named I4 or I6, rather than their appearance front-on.

Formula One World Championship results


Year Entrants Chassis Engines Tyres Driver 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Points WCC
1966 Owen Racing Organisation BRM P83 BRM P75 3.0 H16 D MON BEL FRA GBR NED GER ITA USA MEX 22 4th
Jackie Stewart PO PO Ret Ret Ret
Graham Hill PO PO Ret Ret Ret
Team Lotus Lotus 43 F Peter Arundell DNS Ret 13 5th
Jim Clark Ret 1 Ret
1967 Reg Parnell Racing BRM P83 BRM P75 3.0 H16 G RSA MON NED BEL FRA GBR GER CAN ITA USA MEX 17 6th
Chris Irwin 5 7 Ret Ret Ret Ret
Owen Racing Organisation Mike Spence Ret 6 8 5 Ret Ret Ret 5 5 Ret 5
Jackie Stewart Ret Ret 2 Ret
BRM P115 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret
Team Lotus Lotus 43 F Jim Clark Ret 6 8th
Graham Hill Ret
1968 Owen Racing Organisation BRM P115 BRM P75 3.0 H16 G RSA ESP MON BEL NED FRA GBR GER ITA CAN USA MEX 28 5th
Mike Spence Ret


Wikimedia Commons has media related to H engines.
  1. Willoughby, Vic (1989). Classic motor cycles. Ivy Leaf. ISBN 0-86363-005-7.
  2. "BRM engines H16". Members.madasafish.com. Retrieved 2010-09-12.
  3. Wilson, Hugo (1995). "Brough Superior Dream". The Encyclopedia of the Motorcycle. London: Dorling Kindersley. pp. 34–35. ISBN 0-7513-0206-6.

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