Post by Tom/CalClassic on Dec 24, 2010 13:02:30 GMT -5
Thanks, very interesting. I read the Popular Mechanics articles linked on that page - they had such high hopes - I wonder what the real problem was? Perhaps waiting a few minutes for the steam pressure to build up, or steam under such pressure made people uneasy?
Sure does sound promising in the article. I think You are right Tom the pressure vessel with scalding hot steam might have been a deterrent here. One thing that I am wondering about is the claimed quietness of the flying Steam Travel Air. Sure there are no or few "combustion" sounds but even at 1600 rpm that prop is sure to make quite a bit more noise than a simple whirring. Maybe when we run out of 100LL we can come back to this
Cheers and Merry Christmas Stefan
You aren't a man until you can handle three pieces of tail at one time !!
Was just asking myself the possibility of making a steam powered plane some days ago, and I see a proof of concept WAS made, back in the days. Probably did not go over to the production lines because of a lot of reasons. The safety of having steam under pressure near yourself would be one; the need not only to load fuel, but water as well, and the problems related to the finding oneself without either in flight making you fall from the sky would be another; the fuel efficiency would be another, as exothermic engines do suffer more than endothermic engines under this point of view... and who knows how many other factors concurred in making this a dead end in aviation tech.
Very interesting anyway.
Last Edit: Jan 11, 2011 18:14:50 GMT -5 by ashaman
One half of me can't stand the other... and is in search of allies.