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The Wright Flyer had two propellers driven from one engine. Aside from airworthiness issues, would an ASEL or AMEL rating be needed to fly it?

What about the opposite design, with two engines powering one prop?

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Well, it's in the name. Single ENGINE, not single propeller. It's the number of torque generators that matter, because that's what determines the performance hit if one goes south.

You can have two engines driving one propeller, but if one quits, you are still stuck with 50% power just as if you had two propellers, so it would be considered a multi-engine airplane (though it may get a unique designation as multi-engine-single-propeller for identification purposes).

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  • $\begingroup$ There have been a few airplane models with 2 engines 1 propeller: Wikipedia list $\endgroup$
    – jpa
    Commented Jul 31, 2023 at 18:12
  • $\begingroup$ @jpa there's also a list of pushers! $\endgroup$
    – kwc
    Commented Jul 31, 2023 at 20:46
  • $\begingroup$ The Wright Flyer has some failure modes in common with twin-engine aircraft, such as asymmetric thrust if one of the drive chains fails. $\endgroup$
    – Mark
    Commented Aug 1, 2023 at 3:43
  • $\begingroup$ Look into the Soloy Dual Pac -- including their C208 conversion. Also, multi engine helicopters may be relevant. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 1, 2023 at 4:07
  • $\begingroup$ @RobMcDonald how does the FAA handle pilot training requirements? Is there a special multi-engine sub-rating for that particular STC? $\endgroup$
    – John K
    Commented Aug 1, 2023 at 4:54

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