This paper presents a theory and its experimental validation for air entrainment changes into fuel sprays in DI diesel engines. The theory predicts air entrainment changes for a variety of swirl speeds, number of nozzle holes, nozzle diameters, engine speeds, injection speeds and fuel densities. The formulae of the theory are simple non-dimensional equations, which apply for different sized engines. Experiments were performed to compare theoretical predictions and experimental results in six different engines varying from 85 to 800mm bore. All results showed good agreement with the theoretical predictions for shallow-dish piston engines. However the agreement became poor in the case of deep cavity piston engines. With the theory, it is possible to interpret a variety of combustion phenomena in diesel engines, providing additional understanding of diesel combustion processes.