A piston engine, or reciprocating engine, is a type of internal combustion engine that utilizes reciprocating pistons in order to transform pressure into a rotational motion. When used for aviation purposes, the piston engine is charged with driving the propeller assembly through the creation of rotational motion, allowing the aircraft to achieve the propulsion necessary for flight. As a common engine type that serves many light and general aviation aircraft, it can be useful to understand their functionality and common types so that the best fit can be found.
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