Re: Wistling Billy Replica
Posted by: (---.range109-145.btcentralplus.com)
Date: September 16, 2011 04:23AM
Whistling Billy and The White Flyer
My "Whistling Billy" has recently been to some shows over here in England. At the Great Dorset Steam Fair it seemed always to have a crowd around it. As with most of this project, more details of what was happening in the early days have slowly dawned on me.
Two popular questions were always at the top of the list and frequently asked.
1) What was the top speed? I have no records or this. The car was a dirt track racer and not a straight line record breaker. The driver Webb Jay talks of the car being the fastest thing on wheels and 70mph being very fast but averages 74mph for the mile. There are numerous mentions of "a mile a minute down the straight" in the early articles.
2) The steam pressure is stated in one article as being almost twice the normal pressure at 600psi for 1905, but others in the USA tell me that it was running at 1200 psi.
I have come to the conclusion that the "Whistling Billy of 1909 was an almost completely new car if not an entirely new car. I think that it was really called "The White Flyer". I have checked out all my pictures and this is why I have come to this conclusion
1) The statement from the newspaper after the accident stated that the car somersaulted three times over in a ball of flames and was burnt out on the track (I have no picture).
2) Charlie Bair wanted a new White race car as Billy had been such a great success. Whites would have available the 1909 Model "O" engine which was more powerful with two piston valves though having slightly smaller pistons. It was almost bullet proof with its Joy valve gear and very few moving parts. It should take the 1200psi.The 1909 White chassis is smaller and lighter and made from U-section steel.
3) The later pictures confirm that the bonnet length and the engine compartment were shorter so the shorter 1909 Model “O” engine was most likely fitted.
4) The chassis I believe is now steel which can be seen in the 1912 Accident picture in Oregon.
5)The front cross member is no longer a drilled section.
6) I wondered how it could have broken in half in the engine compartment in the 1912 accident with a sub-frame to hold the engine and the two flitch plates on the chassis. My conclusion is that it did not need a sub-frame in the engine compartment with the later engine which has different lower engine mounts.
7) This car was probably running at twice the normal pressure too i.e. 1200psi for 1909/10 as the Americans suggested.
8) This car was called "The White Flyer " in some articles. Perhaps that was the proper name but the public continued to call it "Whistling Billy".
That must be why this car entered 29 races in 1909 and won 29, and I suspect that it had a top speed around 120 mph and was further ahead of the opposition!
The earlier car would have been slower. Perhaps I have been mistaken in suggesting the top speed to be around 120mph for the original Billy. It was probably more likely to be about 100mph.
Edited 2 times. Last edit at 09/17/11 06:41AM by steamcarbob.