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YT2095

A Feezerbility Project :)

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Inspired/Deranged by a different thread on here, just for a bit of fun, lets try and figure out if a Steam Powered Aeroplane could actualy be made to work!

is it feasible (feezerble) at all?

 

using todays materials and alot of maths and physics, COULD a steam engine be used to power an airplane??????

although this is just an excersize in Science Folly and meant as a bit of fun, I`de respect genuine Science applied here and no silly troll answers.

 

edit: I`ll also add that I for one think it Would be possible!

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NICE! :)

 

I can certainly see how that could work quite well, but it seems to rely upon the balloon for lift, although that`s not "against the rules" so to speak as there are no rules for this, I was considering more along the lines of a winged craft.

however, having said that, there`s nothing saying that the wings couldn`t contain a Lighter-Than-Air gas! :)

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well.

 

Ooookay then, THIS Thread didn`t last long! :P

 

*sigh*

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Haha, I'll add to it.

 

I for one do not think it could ever work.

 

If we're talking about a normal propeller style aircraft, you wouldn't be able to convert enought water into steam fast enough to keep it airborn. Even if you could produce steam fast enough, the weight of the water, equipment, and fuel would weigh it down far too much.

 

The only conceivable possibility I can see is that you use a small nuclear source, something like a mini nuclear reactor to produce the steam. Although, even that is questionable.

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Would it be posable to use a system like they do in some satalites, where they convert radiation directly into electricty and run an electric engine for the plane?

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I could see that as being feasable, but we're dealing with steam, so the radiation would have to be converted to electricity, to heat, then into steam through the water. I see the nuclear source being the most viable thus far.

 

If only cold fusion were perfected, that could certainly work.

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Big issue with airborne steam power is that you have to run a closed cycle reusing the working fluid. That would mean that along with a source of heat to make steam, you also meed a way to dump heat to recondense the working fluid. This not only adds to the weight of the aircraft, but also a radiator which which means area with air moving over it that would add to the drag. Using an open cycle like a steam locomotive would require that the plane lift too much water for any useful amount of payload or range.

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Just to clarify, what kind of plane are we talking about?

 

Is it just the normal two wings, tail, and propellor? and how many propellors for that matter? What kind of build is the plane? Fiberglass or aluminum?

 

And as for the open radiator, you could just run the steam through pipes along with the skin of the plane, it would get proper airflow without restricting it in anyway.

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JAnd as for the open radiator, you could just run the steam through pipes along with the skin of the plane, it would get proper airflow without restricting it in anyway.

 

Its not quite that simple. For one thing the amount of cooling must be controllable, and there is no telling if this would increase the weight or in fact provide a large enough area. You have to be able to dump a lot of heat out of a steam engine when it's running if you want to keep it compact and light.

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there has been a man powered craft that flew the English Channel, effectively he had bicycle pedals that turned a prop.

now if you consider that sustained human output won`t be above 200 watts, and we`ll say the guy weighed in at 50-60 kgs.

surely a 200watt steam engine could be made to work at that weight also?

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Remember it's not just the weight of the engine. The weight of the working fluid and the fuel have to be taken into account too.

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10 litres of water and 5 litres of fuel, any idea just how much steam that could make! :)

 

the other 40 kgs remaining would be more than adequate for a machine.

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Goes back to what I was saying about closed or open systems. You have to use supercritical saturated steam (+400C) to get any power out of a light engine. If you make steam and vent the used steam to atmosphere 10l will take you nowhere, if you close the circuit with a condenser big enough to dump out heat fast enough so the loop doesn't vapor-lock you will have to add a lot of weight.

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I expect it could work. You would need to use liquid fuel, and the water would need to be kept to a minimum. Erm, how about expanding the fuel to use as the presure medium then burning the vapour after mixing with air to heat the fuel. Theres no big bang, just steady pressure so the motor could be made light but mega torque with an up ratio to prop.

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What about using a sterling engine ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stirling_engine ). Or several in series until the work gnererated is no able to justify the extra weight. The wings could be used as the heat sink (colder air flowing across them with pipes to cool the working fluid (water or steam) undernieth the outer skin.

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