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WWI Torpedo Engine


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  #1  
Old 07-18-2009, 09:44 PM
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Default WWI Torpedo Engine

When I stopped over at my old neighbor's, he pointed out this old 4 cylinder engine. he said he had it for decades before it was identified as a World War One torpedo engine. A retired naval officer identified it for him.





It's really amazing how this works. As the flywheel on the end was turned, it turned the splined units and the pistons moved back and forth.

Unfortunately, it's missing a cylinder and the carb/fuel system.
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Old 07-19-2009, 03:18 AM
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Exclamation Re: WWI torpedo engine

This engine has been around a while. I first saw it at Kinzers over 10 years ago, and told the owner then what it was. It was there for several years, was at the Cabin Fever show several times, and the last time I saw it it was at the Coolspring summer show in 2006. At Coolspring, there was a sign on it "whai is it", and again I left a note on what it was. It ran on alcohol and liquid oxygen, and turned at about 20,000 RPM. I know it was the same engine, as it was missing that cylinder!
Andrew
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Old 07-19-2009, 08:52 AM
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Default Re: WWI torpedo engine

Thanks for the additional info. I find it truly amazing that something that old could turn that many RPMs.

Thanks
Jeff
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Old 07-19-2009, 12:42 PM
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Default Re: WWI torpedo engine

You know, they weren't intended to run forever, just long enough to deliver the ordinance.
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Old 07-19-2009, 12:46 PM
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Default Re: WWI torpedo engine

wow now thats cool. I'd love to see one in person or running.
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Old 07-19-2009, 07:44 PM
J.B. Castagnos J.B. Castagnos is offline
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Default Re: WWI torpedo engine

Is that 20,000 rpm a joke?
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Old 07-23-2009, 11:06 PM
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Default Re: WWI torpedo engine

The engine appears to be of the two cycle design. I find it hard to believe that it ran 20,000 rpm. The size of the shaft that the flywheel is attached to is not a very large diameter to support that flywheel turning at 20,000 rpm. When you start getting up towards 10,000 rpm things have to be supported and balanced fairly good or they will start coming apart and when they come loose it's like a bullet.
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Old 07-24-2009, 02:47 AM
Eric M. Eric M. is offline
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Default Re: WWI torpedo engine

I agree, 20,000 RPM seems way too fast. De Laval had problems with his turbines failing as they came up to speed, so he went to semi-spherical bearings and thin, springy shafts to allow the turbine wheels to find their own center of balance, since they simply could not be balanced precisely enough at the time. I know Germany experimented with Alcohol fueled torpedos, and the Japanese used compressed (not liquid) oxygen during World War II, but I haven't heard about anything like that being done in WWI. I'm not saying it didn't happen, but I am skeptical. I'd love to be proven wrong though.
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Old 07-24-2009, 02:52 AM
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Default Re: WWI torpedo engine

I can see 20,000 RPMs on something this small

After all in the end she goes bang with the topedo

I belive mythbusters had a thing on something like this? or am I wrong?
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Old 07-24-2009, 01:40 PM
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Default Re: WWI torpedo engine

I did a little looking in, -almost- all torpedos were either powered by compressed air, or powered by a steam engine-they would burn some kind of fuel/oxy mix, and inject water, and run the steam engine directly off of the combustion products. There were a few internal combustion powered torpedos, but I have a hard time with this being one of them-would be awfull hard to prime the engine before you launched it! Also, torpedos used some kind of rediculos HP figures, something around 600hp or so-of course the engine wouldn't last long, but that engine looks maybe a couple HP at best.

In other words, I am casting my vote against this being a WWI torpedo engine that spins 20k rpm.

Robert
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Old 07-24-2009, 01:59 PM
George Best George Best is offline
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Default Re: WWI Torpedo Engine

Would make a great "History Dectectives" show subject. Have them research the types of torpedo drives and determine whether this engine could have been used.
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Old 07-25-2009, 11:57 PM
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Default Re: WWI Torpedo Engine

I'm not saying that the engine would not turn up to 20,000 rpm because I have run two cycle engines at 30 to 35,000 rpm with nitro-methane fuel. However the engines did not have a very long life at that speed and eventually would blow up.

What I'm trying to say is that the shaft and bearings on this engine do not look like they could support the weight of that flywheel turning at 20,000 rpm. Even if the flywheel was perfectly balanced.
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Old 07-26-2009, 06:46 AM
J.B. Castagnos J.B. Castagnos is offline
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Default Re: WWI Torpedo Engine

The safe speed for cast iron is 60mph, looking at that flywheel I would guess 2000 rpm would be max. At 20000 rpm the flywheel would probably be more devastating than the torpedo.
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Old 07-26-2009, 09:55 AM
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Default Re: WWI Torpedo Engine

Maybe the little steam engine really didn't run at that high speed if it was connected to a prop. It might have been that the engine could -theoretically- get to 20K if not connected to a load.

Stanley, Locomobile, etc. car steam engines HAD to be connected to the axle. Otherwise, the speed was very hard to control and it's highly possible that they would self destruct with no load.

Take care - Elden
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Old 08-01-2009, 05:53 PM
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Default Re: WWI Torpedo Engine

Did I miss something here? I thought this was a two cycle gas engine. Hold on let me look again I might have clicked on the steam forum by accident.
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Old 08-02-2009, 08:12 AM
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Default Re: WWI Torpedo Engine

Elden, are you fishing?
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Old 08-02-2009, 10:20 AM
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Exclamation Re: WWI Torpedo Engine

The engine is 2 cycle, they weren't built with longevity in mind. I think that the only lube was when the engine was built, since it is a one time use, and only runs for about 4 minutes max. The flywheel was for demonstration purposes, it does not belong with the engine when it was installed in the torpedo. All the flywheel inertia was made by the propellor and the prop shaft. If the engine was run no load (out of the water), it probably would blow up on its own.
Andrew
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Old 08-02-2009, 10:34 AM
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Default Re: WWI Torpedo Engine

There is a WW2 Jap torpedo engine near me in Ohio.. I've helped load and unload it many times over the years. It was said to be one of 10 captured and brought back to the NJ navy yards for study.. 8 were ordered to be destroyed and two were stored.. or so the navy thought. A retired engineer freaked out when he saw it about 10-15 years ago and told the story to the owner and I.

It ran on compressed gas in battle but ran on air for display
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Old 08-02-2009, 01:09 PM
CubCadet107 CubCadet107 is offline
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Default Re: WWI Torpedo Engine

WOW this engine is probably one of the coolest things I have ever seen! I decided to research torpedo engines for a bit and found a site about axial style engines http://www.dself.dsl.pipex.com/MUSEU...g/axial-IC.htm and if you scroll down for a bit (or read the whole page like I did ) you will come to the torpedo section. If you do a youtube search for "torpedo engine" you will at least get a more modern version/design of a torpedo engine. Like I said, this engine is by far one of the coolest engines I have ever seen!
-Jordan
PS: Here is a model engine that looks as if it could be somewhat similar design http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSqoX...eature=related
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Old 08-09-2009, 02:18 AM
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Default Re: WWI Torpedo Engine

Photos would be nice if you ever get the chance? This would be from the famous "Long Lance" torpedo?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Type_93_torpedo
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