Otto, Nikolaus August

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Otto, Nikolaus August

(nē`kōlous ou`go͝ost ô`tō), 1832–91, German engineer. He was coinventor (1867) of an internal-combustion engine, and he devised (1876) the four-stroke Otto cycle, which was widely adopted for automobile, airplane, and other motors.

Otto, Nikolaus August

 

Born June 10, 1832, in Holzhausen, Nassau; died Jan. 26, 1891, in Cologne. German designer and entrepreneur.

After graduating from a Realschule in 1848, Otto was involved in commercial activities. Jointly with the German engineer E. Langen, he developed an air-standard engine in 1867. He also built an improved four-stroke gas engine in 1876 using the idea of the four-stroke compression cycle proposed in 1862 by the French engineer A. Beau de Rochas. In 1884, Otto suggested the use of an electric ignition, which made it possible to use a liquid fuel for the engine.

REFERENCES

Radtsig, A. A. Istoriia teplotekhniki. Moscow-Leningrad, 1936.
Bernal, J. Nauka v istorii obshchestva. Moscow, 1956. (Translated from English.)
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In the 1880s, Nikolaus Otto, inventor of the 4-cycle engine, granted licenses to various entities around the world, allowing them to produce engines using his patent.
But the engine itself will be changed beyond recognition; it will change more in the next decade or so than in all the years since Nikolaus Otto built the prototype in 1876.
Consider: The internal combustion engine was invented in 1876 by Nikolaus Otto and in 1885 the first automobile using the internal combustion engine was invented by Karl Benz.
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By the 1870s, Nikolaus Otto was perfecting the groundbreaking internal combustion engine in Germany.