But how about a wankel, or a rotary engine like you see in the old-school WWI biplanes? Ever wondered how a Stirling engine operates? (They are a popular in big solar farms because of their efficiency.) Maybe you’d like to impress your friends with your knowledge of how the locomotive steam engine varies from the oscillating steam engine.
If any of this interests you, then you should definitely check out AnimatedEngines.com, which is the definitive resource for, you guessed it, animations of different engines at work.
You may never need this information as a contestant on Jeopardy!, but it is still pretty interesting to see how these many different styles of engines work. Plus, the next time my kid has a science project, I know I’m definitely pointing them in this direction!