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Home History My Recent Efforts Generating the Steam
Fuel Designs for aircraft Hydroplanes Practical

A steam engine that can fly a plane must seem an anathema to the majority of modellers and aviation enthusiasts today. However the story of aviation did not start with the Wright Brothers! It is unfortunate that the spectacular progress of technology over the last century tends to over-shadow the huge contributions of the early pioneers. l have always had an interest in the history of science and engineering and this interest has found me a subject in the 'flying steam engine' that offers limitless avenues in which to experiment, research, invent and improve just for the joy of doing it.

Pic of me and my plane

The earliest attempts at powered flight were conducted with models and were powered by rubber, clockwork systems and of course steam. Few of these resulted in recorded events of real flight and one of the problems then, as it is today is to eliminate excess weight. Modern materials can help and if you want to, you can use them, as I do at times but they are not an absolute necessity. Cast iron, steel, brass, copper and nickel silver were all available in the 19 th century and will build a perfectly viable flying steam engine. The real answer to excess weight using these simple materials is design. The first two engines l built used designs by two English designers Mr H.H. Groves and Mr. David Parker, my latest work is with an engine and components of my own design. ln order to design a lightweight steam engine for a model aircraft, car or boat you have to forget locomotives! A model loco needs it's weight for tractive effort on very slippery iron wheels running on steel or aluminium track. The boiler is the heaviest component in most steam engines and it is therefore the first place to start saving weight whilst preserving safety.

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