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Katipo 1.48 cc diesel

The Katipo diesel engines were manufactured in Auckland, New Zealand during the mid to late 1960's. They represented one of only three attempts to establish commercial model engine manufacture in New Zealand, the others being the pre-war Acme .99 cuin spark ignition model and the highly-regarded post-war Pepperell series. 

The neat and compact Katipo 1.48 cc diesel was produced in at least three variants. The first of these featured Cox-style porting with twin opposed transfer and exhaust ports, while the other two reverted to a more conventional three-port radial arrangement. The engines were quite well designed, and a good example runs well. However, they weren't all good - some of them suffered from poor piston fits, for example.

The major fly in the ointment was the fact that many of them received crankshafts which were not up to the job, either by virtue of having an inadequate material specification or as a result of improper heat treatment. So many of them broke their shafts that their manufacturer was unable to honor the guarantee, consequently abandoning the project in disgust and leaving the Katipo name forever tarnished. All Katipo manufacture had ceased by 1970 after perhaps 1000 examples at most had been produced.

The full story of the Katipo series may be found on Ron Chernich's "Model Engine News" (MEN) web-site.

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