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Old Apr 16, 2014, 09:39 PM
Balsadustus Producerus
Escondido, CA USA
Joined Jan 2001
1,104 Posts
Compressed-air engine mystery

While attending the '14 AMA EXPO January last, I found this in the Swap Shop. Of course, the 'made in Ireland' on the box caught my attention. Upon opening that box, I found this engine inside. The seller, an engine collector, had no idea what it was or what it would be used for. I bought it as I thought "Cool, a compressed-air engine!" As small as it is, it's definitely not a CO2 engine--it's not built strong enough. I think the Tipperary box is a red herring, as the engine is not made of butter though the engine and the restraint surrounding it is a perfect fit. Haven't tried connecting it to air, yet. My thought is going through an air pressure regulator I use for airbrushing, and slowly run up pressure until something happens. For an idea of actual size, that's a Tornado Series 15 7x3 wood prop in last picture.

Any ideas?
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Old Apr 17, 2014, 01:33 AM
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Reginald's Avatar
Joined Aug 2004
4,416 Posts
You do have an engine that is intended to be run on compressed air indeed. Here are some examples of other engines. The reservoir of air shown here was in fact the fuselage of the airplane and made of very thin copper sheet, in some cases it was wound with thin wire to withstand even more the inside pressure.
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Old Apr 17, 2014, 08:34 AM
AMA7224 LSF1832
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United States, DE, Millsboro
Joined Sep 2008
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A challenge in some ways, but CA engines can fly. Witness this beautifully executed and flown model at Warminster, PA contest a few years back.

Free-Flight Mauboussin Hemiptere, 1992 (2 min 52 sec)
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Old Apr 17, 2014, 08:58 AM
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USA, TX, Grapevine
Joined Dec 2008
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The compressed air engines were the way to go during the early days of model airplane flying. At the time it was hand tossed, rubber band catapult launcher methods, rubber band powered, or compressed air systems. The compressed air motors tended to win most of the contests at that time too. I think they continued to win many championships up into the 1930's too. They even beat out the early model airplane ignition engines too.

It looks like they soldered it together and then nickle plated or chromed it. That tends to have me thinking that the little motor was made in Japan, as they like to spruce things up to make them look good.
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Last edited by earlwb; Apr 19, 2014 at 07:57 AM. Reason: add more info
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Old Aug 16, 2014, 05:57 PM
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Joined Sep 2004
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Hi Balsabird, your engine seems very much like an engine referred to in Bert Pond's book "Expansion engine powered model aircraft", p. 69: width 1", cylinder OD .156". That engine was designed and built by Jim Walker of U-control fame. Maybe yours is a replica?

Have you tried to run it?
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Old Aug 20, 2014, 11:40 AM
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United States, CA, Garden Grove
Joined Oct 2000
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Thanks for the video, never saw a CA powered model flown before, amazed at power and duration. Was tank filled with a bicycle pump?
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