On August 23, 2023, the Pettinger Engine Collection opened in its permanent home at the UNT College of Engineering at Discovery Park. Donated by alumna Hedwig Pettinger and her husband, Wes, it includes hobby engines for aircraft, boats, and cars, and many other special items. The collection showcases Wes Pettinger’s lifelong passion for the combustion engine, which he has chosen to share with our current and future students. A portion of the collection is utilized in the education of our engineers and K-12 students.
The bulk of the collection, these engines span many manufacturers and include both single and twin heads. Some of these engines are one-of-a-kind and many others are quite rare. Most of them range in size from approximately 2–6 inches. Manufacturers: Brown Junior, Cox, Enya, Forster Brothers, Fox, G-mark, K&B, Manderville, McCoy, O&R, OK Cub, O.S. Engines, Testor, Webra and many others.
Radial Model Aircraft
Harkening back to pre-WWII radial engines are in full splendor as a part of this collection. The cylinders range in number from three to nine and highlight a key time in the internal combustion engine evolution.
The tether car or spindizzy is a model racing car powered by a miniature internal combustion engine and tethered to a central post. Developed in the 1920s these are rare, but still raced today in some places.
Demonstration and Travel Engines
A selection of running engines has been set aside from the permanent collection to travel around the DFW area and aid in the education of K-12 students. These engines are also available to UNT students and faculty for educational purposes. The traveling collection engines are duplicates to those in the permanent collection.
Over the years, Wes and Hedwig collected a selection of items that they hold a bit closer to their heart. These include a model rocket that won Hedwig a competition, a model of Jules Verne’s Albatross, a Honda SuperCub, and many more intriguing pieces.
Visit Pettinger Center for Design & Innovation (M152) to see the collection or browse virtually on the Pettinger Engine Collection Digital Archive.