The L-440 air-cooled, six-cylinder, inverted, in-line engine was manufactured in the USA by the Ranger Aircraft Engine Division of Fairchild Engine and Airplane Corp. The design dates from the early 1930s.
The Ranger 6 evolved from the Cirrus air-cooled, in-line engine designed in 1928. Considerable research went into the design of the close-fitting baffles around the cylinders so that a small air intake could be utilized. Built in several versions ranging from 145 hp to 200 hp, L-440 series engines were used to power the more than 6,000 Fairchild PT-19 and PT-26 trainers built during World War II. It also powered the Fairchild 24 passenger airplane and the twin-engined Grumman Widgeon amphibian.
After WWII, surplus Rangers were used for dirt track racing cars and drag racers in the 1950s. The engine had seven main bearings and a few magnesium parts, both unusual in an engine this small. Over 15,000 were built during World War II.
The example on display will be used to power the Museum's Fairchild Cornell after restoration.