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The Pratt & Whitney Wasp was the civilian name of a family of air-cooled radial piston engines developed in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s.The Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Company (P&W) was founded in 1925 by Frederick B. Rentschler, who had previously been the President of Wright Aeronautical. He brought with him some of Wright’s best designers and the new team quickly came up with their first design, the R-1340 Wasp.