Steam powered plane

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by AKBill, Apr 1, 2021.

  1. AKBill

    AKBill En-Route

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    Never thought about a steam powered plane. They did back in 1933.
    [​IMG]

    1933: George D. Besler and William J. Besler's prototype steam biplane, based on a Travel Air 2000, flew several times at Oakland airport. It was powered by a two-cylinder, 150 hp (110 kW) double-expansion V-twin reciprocating engine weighing about 500 lb (230 kg), designed by the Doble Steam Motors Company and Besler.[7][8] and was capable of STOL operation due to the ease of reversing the thrust.[9][10]
    STOL operation by reversing the engine...:rolleyes:
     
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  2. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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  3. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    Did the copilot have to shovel the coal for the boiler? Inquiring minds want to know.

    " I dannae is she can take any more, Captain!"
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2021
  4. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    On April 1st, a few years ago, someone published a fake press release from Diamond Aircraft announcing a coal powered version of the DA42. At the time the company had been announcing progressively more ambitious projects with alternative fuels powering their airframes while the owners were struggling with getting support for the aircraft they already had (the Thielert engine debacle).
     
  5. AKBill

    AKBill En-Route

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    Not sure I think it was a diesel fueled boiler..:)
     
  6. Spring Ford

    Spring Ford Pre-takeoff checklist

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  7. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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  8. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I think back in 1916 the German military was working on a steam powered airplane.

    After building the first one, it was tested. Turned out it was too heavy to fly.

    The builder was Baron Maximillian Van Gross, now more recognized for his contributions on discovering how to determine the total amount of weight something can carry..... known as Max Gross Weight.....



    [​IMG]

    (this is a joke for those that know less...)
     
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  9. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

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    Bill Lear (of Learjet fame) was working on a steam power system. Rumor at the time said he intended to try it in an airplane. He passed away before it was developed to any significant degree. It used a closed system possibly using some refrigerant-type liquid instead of water. The condensers would be built into the wing leading edges, functioning also as anti-ice devices.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Lear
     
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  10. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Gustav Whitehead used a steam-driven airplane to fly across the Atlantic ahead of the Wright Brothers first flight.
     
  11. Spring Ford

    Spring Ford Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Sounds possibly like a Stirling Engine.
     
  12. flyingbrit

    flyingbrit Pre-takeoff checklist

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  13. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

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    The poor power-to-weight ratio keeps it out of airplanes.