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Airplane Nuts

Vinny

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Thanks for the reminder. I missed it last year.
 
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Peanuts.jpg
 

Jeff S

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You guys, airplanes don't have nuts!
 
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I would almost go to that. They have some great machines.
 

Kevin Graulty

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They have a flying airworthy Curtiss Jenny, with its original Curtiss OX-5 V-8, which produces 90 HP — interesting to watch it just idling on the ground, because it’s an overhead valve engine with all the valve gear, return springs, rocker arms, and push rods exposed, visible, and “dancing around” as it runs.
 

Kevin Graulty

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Also, a full-scale replica (there are no originals in existance) of a WW-I German Fokker DR-I, triplane fighter (“DR” stands for the German “Dreidecker”).

Although the aircraft is a replica (albeit an accurately and beautifully constructed airworthy one), its engine is a period 9-cylinder “rotary” — 9 cylinders arranged radially around a “stationary” crankshaft, so that when it is opearing, the ENTIRE engine, with the propeller attached, turns — very interesting to watch THIS aircraft just idling, on the ground (much less actally flying).

Severeal manufacrurers made these during WW-I, LeRhone, Bentley, Oberursel, Gnome — and several are still powering restored or replica aircraft of the period.

I don’t know which exact engine this DR-I has, but watching it run, just sitting on the ground, is most interesting, if you ever get to see it.
 

Tourmeister

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I have to wonder at the decision process that led to the whole engine spinning? I mean, other than for cooling, what other reason might there be? Was cooling so paramount that it over rode all other issues? :scratch:
 
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I have to wonder at the decision process that led to the whole engine spinning? I mean, other than for cooling, what other reason might there be? Was cooling so paramount that it over rode all other issues? :scratch:
Cooling was the only positive reason I can remember. Imagine the gyroscopic effect of all that stuff hanging on the firewall.
 

Tourmeister

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Cooling was the only positive reason I can remember. Imagine the gyroscopic effect of all that stuff hanging on the firewall.

So a spinning propeller wouldn't generate enough air flow to cool the engine? The gyroscopic effect is what I was thinking would be a HUGE negative in terms of handing during flight, especially for dog fighting where you want extreme maneuverability!

Watching those videos of the internals reminds me of the Dynamics class problems when I was in engineering school at Texas A&M. Most people had no problem with Statics, things that don't move, like beams and such. LOTS of people struggled with Dynamics, where things are moving, spinning, translating, etc,... I imagine the machining tolerances had to be fairly good on an engine like that just to keep it balanced so it didn't shake itself apart. But, imagine if even a single cylinder was damaged or shot out...
 
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Remember that all that engineering was 100 years ago. First flight was in 1903 and WWI was ten years later. Ten years of aviation engineering is a very short time. Also remember that WWI airplanes weren't really initially designed for dog fighting, they were primarily for observation and reporting. They used them to spy on the enemy lines and remove some of the fog of war and allow the leaders to know what the opposition was doing beyond their line of sight.

Of course, then someone decided they didn't want those airplanes spying on them and sent another airplane up to shoot at it and chase it away. Then dog fighting became a form of fighting but there was still a LOT to learn about it. Maneuverability was less important than the ability to climbe. It's hard to shoot up at an enemy when flying and using low power engines, but shooting in a dive was very easy. The plane that could climb could kill a plane that could turn. Hence why you see a lot of the biplanes and triplanes as the engineers looked for ways to get more lift and hence more climb. Maneuverability and handling would become important later, but those engineers had a lot to learn, figure out, and design.
 
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Video is titled rotary. Is that really correct and it is not considered a radial?
I think of Wankel design when I read rotary. But I suppose that could just be one interpretation.
 

Tourmeister

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Remember that all that engineering was 100 years ago. First flight was in 1903 and WWI was ten years later. Ten years of aviation engineering is a very short time. Also remember that WWI airplanes weren't really initially designed for dog fighting, they were primarily for observation and reporting. They used them to spy on the enemy lines and remove some of the fog of war and allow the leaders to know what the opposition was doing beyond their line of sight.

Of course, then someone decided they didn't want those airplanes spying on them and sent another airplane up to shoot at it and chase it away. Then dog fighting became a form of fighting but there was still a LOT to learn about it. Maneuverability was less important than the ability to climbe. It's hard to shoot up at an enemy when flying and using low power engines, but shooting in a dive was very easy. The plane that could climb could kill a plane that could turn. Hence why you see a lot of the biplanes and triplanes as the engineers looked for ways to get more lift and hence more climb. Maneuverability and handling would become important later, but those engineers had a lot to learn, figure out, and design.

Internal combustion engines were relative new and airplanes were relatively new, but spinning things were not. The age of steam had LOT of heavy spinning things. So issues of balance, torque, etc,... were pretty well understood. I'm guessing it had more to do with ease of fabrication and installation than with cooling.

http://www.animatedengines.com/gnome.html

[warning, you may waste a LOT of time on this website... Seriously]
http://www.animatedengines.com/
 
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