Author Topic: 1933 Steam airplane  (Read 3378 times)

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Offline Windpower

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1933 Steam airplane
« on: March 02, 2011, 07:32:36 AM »

Here you go, Glenn

Steam engines and flying

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Offline MountainDon

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Re: 1933 Steam airplane
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2011, 11:32:34 AM »
I suppose inverted flight might be a problem   ;D
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline Windpower

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Re: 1933 Steam airplane
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2011, 11:53:34 AM »
good question Don

Often, our ignorance is not as great as our reluctance to act on what we know.

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: 1933 Steam airplane
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2011, 12:02:23 PM »
Very cool and a reversible engine for those short landings.
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Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: 1933 Steam airplane
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2011, 12:08:48 PM »
I noticed that was a compound steam engine having a large secondary expansion cylinder and a small primary expansion cylinder.  The same steam works twice as it is exhausted from the primary into the secondary expansion cylinder.
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Offline Windpower

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Re: 1933 Steam airplane
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2011, 12:43:43 PM »
Looks like  a condensor too so they wouldn't have to carry extra water
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Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: 1933 Steam airplane
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2011, 07:04:27 PM »
I was wondering about that though I thought I saw steam spewing out the side.  It would make sense to reuse it though and should be plenty of air for cooling the condenser.

I started to research it a bit today but ran out of time.
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Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: 1933 Steam airplane
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2011, 07:16:42 PM »
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

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Offline Ernest T. Bass

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Re: 1933 Steam airplane
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2011, 08:45:25 PM »
Seems like I'm asking this a lot, but.. Why were ideas like this abandoned? I mean, I can see that freezing water and waiting for pressure buildup would be disadvantages at times, but it seems like there's still a place for them..

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Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: 1933 Steam airplane
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2011, 06:38:40 AM »
Technology improvements over the years sometimes take a different path leaving good ideas sitting alone by themselves.  Sometimes it is a massive advance in a different technology.  Sometimes it is an idea that is intentionally destroyed by big business who will buy out interfering patents and shut them down or kill the inventor if he refuses to cooperate.  

Another thing is marketing.  You can invent great things or have a great product that is similar to others but if you can't get people to buy it, then there is no money for continued manufacturing or research.

A dirtier way of making things successful is politics.  A family or special interest group gets a group of  politicians in their pockets, gets a war started, needs machines such as airplanes, guns and bombs, sets up a need for their product such as making the public think the latest bogeyman has threatened us, steers the war so it will need more product, introduces and votes on legislation to buy the product from their masters.  That product will prevail over other good or maybe not as good products.  Success is much more assured when your company has bought enough of the right insiders.  Tax money and bodies to use the war machines are supplied by the lower and middle class who have been led to believe there is a threat by massive news media psyops so are managed by fear.  That is called manufacturing consent.  After that is approved by the people or at least they don't disprove loudly, the government runs the war as the industrial complex scoops up the tax money.  That is of  course, the bigger picture.

One thing I read about this one was that at the time the steam engine did not lend itself to going to a greater horsepower (probably to weight ratio) easily.

Small ideas can continue and become successful if they find a niche market to support sales and warrant continued manufacturing or expanded improvement of them.  The market is still a requirement for success.

Part of the law of supply and demand.
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Offline Windpower

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Re: 1933 Steam airplane
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2011, 07:01:33 AM »
Good article Glenn

They were talking about a 400 mile range for the plane

that was actually pretty good back then, the Stearman's (very close to the Travel Air) max range was about 300 miles

with modern high pressure boilers and light weight alloys for the engine and a cleaned up airframe it might still be a viable airplane

Of course this was in the start of the First Great depression too -- not a big market for airplanes of any kind until WWII started
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Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: 1933 Steam airplane
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2011, 07:13:55 AM »
They were using 10 gallons of water and condensing 90% of it for that range.  I guess upping the water would require upping the oil - slower speed - more weight. 

Possibly not enough oil burned to miles flown to generate big company interest.  I'm not sure how that would work out and not so much indication that was a factor.  Other technologies - I/C engines and turbines did get the interest and backing.
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

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