Flash Steam Plant for Large Model airplanes


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  • Pub No.: 5918
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CONETNTS--A description of the engine and what it is capable of doing—Machine work necessary to finish the engine—A flash steam plant for the engine and how to make it.

In view of the great activity recently evinced in the designing of model power plants for aviation and other purposes, this compact and efficient power plant should prove of considerable interest. Providing as it does a self-contained plant of sufficient power to make it eminently practical and of great utility, the construction of this engine at once supplies the model maker with a most interesting project, and furnishes him with a reliable source of power. While no special effort was made to secure lightness, as the engine was originally designed to propel a canoe, for which purpose it has proven perfectly successful, the power plant is not too heavy for the large airplane model which it would be capable of driving, and would undoubtedly prove an ideal solution to the propulsion problem in connection with such a model. In fact, the author considers that it would vindicate the employment of steam vs. other prime movers in whatever field in which it might be put, and in addition, the construction alone would be of sufficient interest to repay the model maker for his expense and labor. The engine, which will deliver a maximum of about 21/2 H.P., utilizes steam from a flash boiler in four single-acting, radially disposed cylinders. From the standpoint of compactness, there is little doubt that this arrangement is superior to any other, and a great simplification of valve mechanism is also secured. In this case, the distribution of steam to the four stationary cylinders which are, of course, at an angle of 90 degrees to each other, is effected by means of a rotating member flexibly coupled to the crankshaft and revolving in a casing connected with the steam supply and with the cylinder heads. This member carries on its periphery two ports, one, communicating continually with a small chamber under pressure from the boiler, serves to admit steam to the cylinders in succession as it passes the ends of the pipes connected with the cylinders, and is of such length as to cut off the admission of steam to the cylinders after about 20 degrees of the inlet stroke; the other port is in communication with the atmosphere by a series of holes and permits the cylinders to exhaust during about 80 degrees of the stroke. The general appearance of the engine is conveyed by Fig. 118. The four pistons are all connected to a single crankpin by means of a disc rigidly affixed to one connecting rod, and carrying supports for the other three rods on which they may pivot slightly as the crankshaft revolves. One of the most unique features of the engine described below is that no castings are required; all parts being made either of cold rolled steel or brass stock.

8 pages


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