From Days Gone By - Mechanical, Compressed Air and Acetylene Starting Systems - Page 2
Close
Login to Your Account
Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 21 to 40 of 45
  1. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    662
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    160
    Likes (Received)
    189

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JST View Post
    I am quite curious about the description, which appears to show a lack of understanding of the subject. (But, that is Wkipedia, par for the course).

    "Early automobiles required a hand crank to create a sufficient charge to start ignition".

    While true of an engine with a magneto, the biggest issue would be cranking the engine against compression. Many magnetos had a "snap" system to create the spark at low speeds, which in one form latched and released the rotor, propelled by a spring, through the critical area of rotation. That kept the generated voltage high despite slow cranking.
    At the time, impulse couplings were not commonly used- many magnetos were direct coupled and often ran at crankshaft speed. Cranking against compression is and was a matter of technique, aided by low compression and sometimes a compression release on one or more cylinders.
    FWIW, Kettering was only one of many involved in electric starters at the time- Brooks and Holt patented the "Bendix gear" in 1911/12 (and many other features). But Kettering was an American, and the systems of his employer were fitted to large, expensive cars that genuinely needed them. Others, not so much and adoption was slower.

  2. Likes Dociron liked this post
  3. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Suffolk, England
    Posts
    268
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    389
    Likes (Received)
    179

    Default

    Sable-sorry nobody took to your Marshall clip,maybe a bit too "agricultural"?....actually those old boys are leiston Long shop men of Richard Garrett fame.

    Hand cranking to "build" spark sounds all too like model"f" fordson (coils and flywheel mag) I always liked the story of an old farmhand who couldn't get his tractor to start, fitter called, cranked it round in gear, on full lock so faced downhill not up, then off she went......Worn thrust face on mains allowed end float and flywheel moved too far from pick-up so no spark! Try explaining that to a fellow who spent 50yrs steering a horse.

    Richard

  4. Likes sable liked this post
  5. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Munich / Germany
    Posts
    2,140
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    342
    Likes (Received)
    1070

    Default

    I am quite curious about the description, which appears to show a lack of understanding of the subject. (But, that is Wkipedia, par for the course).

    "Early automobiles required a hand crank to create a sufficient charge to start ignition".
    I think that was meant as "sufficient charge of gasoline in the combustion chamber". Not electrical charge.

    Nick

  6. #24
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    New England, USA
    Posts
    376
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    6
    Likes (Received)
    310

    Default



    In case you missed it, we covered Kettering's first starter, show the patent drawings and links to his patents
    and a video of one of the 1912 Cadillac units in action.

    The pair of patent drawing shown here are for an earlier six cylinder design that also used a camshaft-actuated compression
    release to make it easier for the starter to do its job. See much more @ *Updated* The New Fangled 1912 Electric-Starting Cadillac | The Old Motor


  7. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Shandaken, NY, USA
    Posts
    4,262
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1129
    Likes (Received)
    6714

    Default

    I am enjoying this thread. Having had some experience with Magneto ignitions, I can say I have great appreciation of them. I have a "Wico" magneto on my old Gravely tractor, and that starts every time, even when it's been sitting for months. I have a Wico magneto on an old 6 HP Wisconsin engine, used to be on my compressor. Again, a hot spark, even if you just turned the engine over slowly with your hand on the rope-start pulley (plug removed/grounded out).

    Compressed air starting is something I also have a great appreciation for. No batteries to go flat or deteriorate with age. As long as you have another source of compressed air, you can get started. On diesel engines on a job out in Wyoming, I learned a lot about batteries, electric starters, and deep cold. We had electric starters on our heavy equipment (cranes, backhoe, dozer) as well as a couple of old truck-tractors (which we used to jockey loads on site, and for their winches). Winter set in, and we started having starter motors burn up, batteries go flat, and burned up a number of relays and "series-parallel" switches on the truck diesels. The trucks had a system of 24 volts to crank with two batteries in series, then after starting, the batteries went into parallel connection for lighting and charging. The firm I was with was home-based in Wisconsin, so hard winters were not new to them. Other contractors on site were having the same problems, and this was with the diesel engines having jacket water heaters plugged in over night. A diesel mechanic out of Cheyenne, Wyoming suggested going to air starting. We called the I-R distributor in Cheyenne, and they sent up a tech support person. He got a list of every electric starter on the diesel engine powered equipment. We converted everything to air start. We kept a 185 cfm gasoline powered compressor and a pickup truck to pull it around inside a heated shed. We brought in a couple of men early each morning to get the diesel equipment started. First off was to get the compressor and pickup started. They rode around with air hose, as well as a 100 lb tank of propane and a weed burner and a steel pail. The steel pail had a hole in the side for the weed burner. This was placed under rear ends, trannies, and oil sumps and the weed burner was stuck in the side of the pail. It was a warming stove to preheat the heavy lubricants. We cranked up on compressed air. We had the luxury of rolling a diesel for an extended period to get the oil up in it and to limber it up, before actually starting it. It made a believer out of me about air starting.

    Later in my career, I worked on some larger medium speed diesel engines (Alco 539's, Cleveland 268's, a Baldwin, and Fairbanks-Morse OP's). All of these engines used what I call "direct air starting". It is the same principal as the air starting system in this thread. The difference is that a starting air distributor is used to port air to pilot operated starting air valves. The starting air distributor is much like the early automotive version, and cannot pass enough air to roll a bigger diesel engine. Small bore tubing is used to connect the starting air distributor to a pilot operated starting air valve in the head of each cylinder. Fairly large diameter pipe is used to supply air for starting to the starting air valves. This system worked like a charm. I always liked the fact that a small gasoline driven "pony" compressor could start a whole big engine or an entire diesel power plant. A rope start Wisconsin engine with a Wico magneto and a Quincy compressor was usually the pony compressor set.

    I went on a job once which was the startup of a Baldwin 6 cylinder turbo'd diesel and generator in a stationary plant. As usual, the dealer said the engine had "low hours and a fresh overhaul". By that point, I knew this was usually a "paint shop rebuild". When I got to the plant for the startup, I did the usual things, checking crankshaft deflection (to confirm alignment of the generator outboard bearing, since this set had an open-frame single bearing generator, mounted on a concrete foundation). I checked a number of things, blew out or flushed some of the lines, and soon had the prelube pump running, and had fuel up to the "rail" which supplied the injection pumps. These older engines used Bosch injection with a single pump for each cylinder, mounted on a cam case. More about that in a little bit.

    There was a good sized starting air receiver, and it was up to pressure. I rolled the engine on air with the fuel racks set to the fully closed position (no fuel injected). The engine rolled free. I opened the racks to the starting position and hit the starting air. Nothing- just a rolling engine. The engine rolled a good long while and not a cough. It was in a heated room. I checked and re-bled the fuel lines to the injection pumps, and then cracked a gland nut on number one cylinder's fuel injector and wrapped a rag around it. I had the engine rolled on starting air. No fuel to the injectors. We rolled that engine on air for quite a while, as I cracked injection lines and hoped to see some fuel being delivered up to the injectors. The plant owner had a portable compressor on site for construction work, so we coupled that up with air hammer hose, and we rolled the engine for even longer on air. I was getting nowhere. I finally decided to see if the injection pumps were timed right, since the dealer had "rebuilt" this engine. On those older American Bosch injection pumps, there is a "timing window" on the pump body covered with a small steel plate. The plate is held on with two 1/4=20 capscrews.
    There is a timing mark on the pump plunger and another one on the "window" in the pump body. I got the timing window cover off number one pump and I heard a sharp "bang" as I undid the capscrews. I figured I might as well get all the timing windows opened up and see what the pumps were doing for timing. I heard that same "bang" as I undid the capscrews on each timing window cover. I had the engine rolled on air, racks closed, and lo and behold, the pumps were stroking. I broke a few gland nuts up at the injectors and suddenly had fuel. Made things up, and the engine started and ran nicely. I took it through the usual startup, working up to a full load test and load rejection tests. Everything worked as it should have. I realized what had happened: back at the dealer's during the "paint shop rebuild", someone had taken the timing window covers off the pumps to mask things for the paint job. When they replaced the timing window covers, they used 1/4-20 bolts from a shop bin, and used bolts a bit too long. The holes for the timing window cover capscrews were thru tapped, so the extra bolt length bound against the pump plungers. The cams took the pumps to high-cam/full stroke, and that is where the plungers stayed as the pump springs could not overcome the bind. Fortunately, the pump parts were hardened, so no harm done. I dropped about 6 hours chasing that gremlin down. Had the engine NOT been air start, I'd have been a lot longer.

    On the heavier diesel engines, I have a real favorite with air starting. On our tourist railroad, we have an Alco S-1 diesel locomotive. It has the 539 engine, and relies on two banks of batteries for 64 volt starting current. One bank of batteries on each side of the locomotive, each bank consisting of four (4) 8 volt batteries series connected to make 32 volts. Starting is accomplished by motorizing the traction generator. This past December, the Alco S-1's batteries gave up the ghost after being installed in 1999. We had them on floating charge, but electrolyte was cooking out. Normally, we can crank up a 539 Alco diesel in cold weather with the batteries plus a DC welding generator jumped onto the weaker battery bank's bus connection. We finally gave it up and drained the coolant and put the engine to bed until spring. Our next engine is a 1940 H.K. Porter center cab diesel-electric. It has two Cummins 6 cylinder diesels with traction generators, and normal "automotive" style starting motors working on 32 volts DC. We had a wedding charter, and we needed that engine to pull the train. It was about +5 degrees with a stiff wind, and had been for a few days. We had those batteries on floating charge. I brought my welding generator, plenty of lead, and another man brought some fresh 12 volt diesel truck batteries. We series connected the truck batteries to make 36 volts and paralleled them with one battery bank, and the diesel sounded like a sick dinosaur when we tried to crank it. I put the welding generator in parallel, and the diesel cranked and fired off. We did the same drill on the other end's engine. I was doing the "Wyoming propane stove trick" as it were to preheat the oil. We got the train ready to leave within 5 minutes of scheduled departure. Two passenger coaches of wedding guests were already aboard, and as I crawled out from under the locomotive (dragging the propane "stove"), the groom came forward to shake our hands and thank us. After the train left, all I could say to the other men was "f--- battery starting... I'm gonna put air starters on this puppy". A little airline deicer and a good compressor (which we have several of) and no worries about flat batteries and burnt contacts from low cranking voltage or burnt up starters. The oldtimers were onto something.

  8. Likes Peter S liked this post
  9. #26
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    On Elk Mountain, West Virginia, USA
    Posts
    2,080
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    886
    Likes (Received)
    708

    Default

    Thanks Sable, 310guy, jkriger, franco, barky,Tommy, for info about Coffman patent starters! I guess a separate valve and passage would have to be designed in the engine , to get the expanding gas into the cylinder on the power stroke? Or perhaps if there were a check-valve at the inlet to the intake manifold, gas (or air) could simply pressurize the intake, then pistons would be driven down on their intake stroke....when the pressure decayed, flywheel would keep engine going long enough to start?

    I've always liked the idea of air starters, for vehicles with air-brakes thus carrying a compressor anyway. I wonder how the seconds or minutes of available cranking from a standard air-start setup, compares with that available from batteries..perhaps there is nothing closely resembling "standard" to make such comparison possible. The thing I like best about air starters in theory is that I could pump the tank back up, if needed, with hand air pump.....no comparable hand-operated battery-charger exists to my knowledge.

    I like pony-engine starting, too. I have a cat D-8 that starts that way, hand-crank to start the pony, so no worries about dead batteries from long idleness. Also, one can roll the main engine with compression released to circulate oil before loading the bearings, can roll it indefinitely (or as long as the gasoline lasts) to warm it up in extreme cold, or bleed the fuel system, before asking it to run on its own.

    A trick I'll mention again here that I learned from a now deceased old-timer, and use regularly to assist Diesels to start in cold, is to hold a diesel-soaked rag torch at the intake, to provide hot air even before compression. You have to wave the torch around a bit to get a suitable compromise between heat, and available oxygen, to the intake.

    A welder would be dandy as start-assist on a 36 volt system. My experience is that if you set the throttle low enough to keep voltage under 20 to limit risk of burning things up on a 12-volt system,, you get insufficient current to help much, at least with the welder I have used.. An attentive helper to open welder throttle when you turn the key would be the trick.

    Great stories,Joe ,as usual, particularly about the inadvertent set-screws on the injector plungers!

  10. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Brandon, MS
    Posts
    439
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    234
    Likes (Received)
    235

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by magneticanomaly View Post
    I guess a separate valve and passage would have to be designed in the engine , to get the expanding gas into the cylinder on the power stroke? Or perhaps if there were a check-valve at the inlet to the intake manifold, gas (or air) could simply pressurize the intake, then pistons would be driven down on their intake stroke....when the pressure decayed, flywheel would keep engine going long enough to start?
    The Coffman style starters made the conversion of compressed gases into mechanical motion within the starter itself, however a fairly "recent" aircraft engine, the Russian Vedeneyev M14P nine-cylinder radial, does inject compressed air into the cylinders for starting. An appropriately timed "distributor" directs the air into each cylinder on its power stroke thru a separate valve in the cylinder head. Sounds complex, but I understand that the system is relatively trouble-free.

    I've always liked the idea of air starters, for vehicles with air-brakes thus carrying a compressor anyway.
    The Russian YAK-52, equipped with the M14P engine mentioned above, used compressed air to operate the landing gear retraction, wheel brakes, and wing flaps. There were probably others that employed variations of that scheme, as well.

    ~TW~

  11. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Suffolk, England
    Posts
    268
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    389
    Likes (Received)
    179

    Default

    apologies if I'm going OT but have a look on youtube at"94hp National Gas Engine at the Cambridge museum of technology" Hand operated compressor and oscillating magneto, they most likely sniffed some gasoline in with the handpump to give it a bit more of a kick than just "gas" gas!
    Sorry for not sorting a link, I did try..........
    Richard

  12. #29
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    midlands,UK
    Posts
    3,153
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1625
    Likes (Received)
    1539

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruston3w View Post
    apologies if I'm going OT but have a look on youtube at"94hp National Gas Engine at the Cambridge museum of technology" Hand operated compressor and oscillating magneto, they most likely sniffed some gasoline in with the handpump to give it a bit more of a kick than just "gas" gas!
    Sorry for not sorting a link, I did try..........
    Richard

    Hopefully this should be the link (warning there is a girl on this video )
    94hp National Gas Pumping Engine from 1909 at Cambridge Museum of Technology - YouTube

  13. Likes Ruston3w liked this post
  14. #30
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Shandaken, NY, USA
    Posts
    4,262
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1129
    Likes (Received)
    6714

    Default

    Magnetic:

    Good to hear from you. I am familiar with the "trick" of preheating combustion air to a diesel with a "torch". Overseas, we had some small diesels, 1 & 2 cylinder engines (Yanmar 1 cylinder with a huge flywheel, and Brazilian licensed Hatz 2 cylinder engines) , which were used on pumps and welding generators. They were started by hand crank. In Paraguay, it got cold enough for a light frost at night, so starting those diesels in the morning was a 3 man job. The local men were familiar with the routine. One man would take some rags and wind some tie wire around them to make a torch. This got soaked in diesel fuel. The torch was then lit and held under the air cleaner and air intake manifold for maybe 5 minutes.
    After the "preheat time", the other two guys got into the act. The first guy held the torch on the air intake manifold, while the second guy opened the compression release and the third guy started hand cranking. After the engine was cranking at good speed, the fellow on the compression release would give a yell. The guy on the crank pulled the crank clear, and the fellow on the compression release let it go and brought the control lever to "start" (full rack) position. All the while, the fellow with the torch was still holding the torch on the air intake, and on really cold mornings, would hold the torch so the flame got sucked into the intake. This was "direct heating" of the cylinders. Once the engine fired, the guy with the torch quenched the torch in a can of diesel fuel, and the engine was running for the day. It was not shut down until nightfall and the end of the day's work. The torch idea is similar to a GM-Detroit "flame primer" of bygone years.

    Other starting schemes I have seen are the WWII Navy "hydraulic starters". This was a system used on Detroit diesels by the Navy. It used a hydraulic motor with Bendix type drive in place of the electric starter. A bank of bladder type hydraulic accumulator bottles was provided to hold a pressure charge for re-starting the engine. A small gear type hydraulic pump driven off the engine maintained hydraulic system pressure and recharged the accumulators. A hand hydraulic pump and valving was provided for initial starting in the event the hydraulic accumulators were not pressurized. I believe there was enough stored energy in the accumulators for several starts. The Navy used this system on 71 series Detroit diesels in WWII, on gensets and on some propulsion engines.

    As for air starters on trucks, I believe there may have been a separate air receiver tank to hold starting air, separate from the airbrake main reservoir. I recall riding in an old White tractor on a jobsite which had the air starter as original equipment. There was a placard in the cab notifying drivers that there was enough air for two consecutive starts, and if stopped for a vehicle inspection, to notify the inspecting officer that the truck had an air starter, so not to let the air bleed off with brake tests and leakdown tests.

    Another means of starting people have not mentioned here is the "flywheel" or "inertia" starter. This seemed to be popular in Germany during WWII, and was used on military equipment and aircraft. It consisted of a compact flywheel which was brought up to speed by hand crank and speed-increasing gear drive. Once the flywheel was at speed, a clutch and speed reducing gear drive was fitted to apply the energy in the spinning flywheel to crank the engine. German photos from the WWII era show crews cranking to wind up the flywheels to start tanks as well as aircraft.

    I am a great believer in air starting for diesel engines. Unfortunately, it has fallen out of favor. Automation and remote start for generating sets has kind of tipped things to using electric starting motors since the battery banks are needed for the logic and safeguard systems as well as auto start/auto synch. The idea of being able to start a big diesel engine with nothing but a rope and a few gallons of gasoline vs grappling with banks of batteries and electronic gremlins still appeals to me. On many of the overseas jobs, the dealers would sell "state of the art" packaged high speed diesel gensets (Cummins, Cat or Detroit power) to "underdeveloped" areas. Instead of something very basic with an air start, pony compressor, Woodward PG or PSG packaged ballhead/hydraulic governor, and a simple switchgear with a synchroscope and meters, the dealers sold the underdeveloped areas "the works" with "all the bells and whistles". Or, the UN would hire a consulting engineering shop to write the bid specs, and the result was the same. All the bells and whistles- auto start, auto synch, auto shutdown, electric starting, and a bank of batteries needed for all of it. No way could a person put one of those generators on line manually. The reality was those sets might as well have been scrap iron when they got overseas. The batteries usually never made it off the docks. Government officials "diverted" the batteries and sold them on the black market. The fancy spares went the same way. By the time those engine generators were shipped and set off "in country", the local crews were left scratching their collective heads. The local crews were used to basic diesel engines ranging from Listers, on up to Mirelees or Gardner, or perhaps older US made stuff like Clevelands or F-M's. They had run those engines into the ground, patched them, cannabilized them, and finally, when there wasn't anything left to run and make grid power, the UN would step in to deal with the catastrophe. This catastrophe was usually the result of some coup or governmental BS, as if the black marketeering of batteries, spares, and diesel fuel wasn't bad enough.

    The local crews could make damned near anything run if it was simple and they could understand it and work on it. Load up a diesel engine and generator with modern electronics and logic controls, and rely on a load of batteries and no manual synchronizing means, and it was a real travesty and waste. But, the local politicians wanted to be able to say they were "state of the art", and the UN's in house people usually did not know squat about what technologies the underdeveloped regions could support and keep going. The UN's consulting engineers invariably wrote "state of the art" specs for areas where a Lister or Gardner diesel or a Massey Ferguson tractor or a Land Rover or old Bedford lorry were something the people could work on and keep going. We used to jury rig all sorts of things to make the "state of the art" gensets work- using lamps to synchronize manually, bypassing logic controls and rigging manual controls, and using all sorts of means to get enough batteries and fuel pulled together to get the engines started and keeping them running.

    I have a MAJOR problem with modern technology. Great when it works in places where people can support it. When it goes down, even if it is nothing too major, it is DOWN for the count. Get an old air start diesel engine with a ballhead/hydraulic governor, a manual circuit breaker and perhaps a synchroscope (if it is to be paralled with other units), and you can bring back electric power while the modern stuff is sitting dead and people are pissing and moaning about ladder diagrams and not having the software in their laptop to straighten things out. The young engineer who only knows CAD and never made a part on worn, manual machine tools out of a hunk of truck axle is useless in these conditions. People in a position to specify and order equipment for developing regions or regions hit with natural disasters or similar have to wake up and realize that the modern stuff is often useless, and the oldtime "back to basic" type stuff can and will be what black starts a whole region. I LOVE the idea of the "great leveller"- put a person in a place with NO internet access, NO cell phones, NO electronic conveniences to access information, NO CAD, NO fax, NO phone of any sort (landline or otherwise), a few beat up and well worn manual machine tools and a crank-start welding generator, a pile or two of scrap machinery and materials for the supply firms, bad food, undrinkable water, add a language barrier, and then tell them to get their ass in gear in work with the local people to restore grid power. This is what I used to get myself into when I was 28-31 years of age. Once you've been there, you never look at the world the same way, and the more modern technology does for people, the lower the regard you have for the people who are so dependent upon it. You come to realize the world is heading into a helpless generation with a lot of mental and physical atrophy. Ask a modern person to manually crank start a tractor or welder, and they will tell you it is unsafe, against safety regulations, and find reasons not to. Ask them to work a manual air start system on a diesel and they will probably s--t their pants when the air starter fires off- after they tell you they can't do it as it requires recognizing when the engine is rolling fast enough to throw things to "full rack" position while stopping the flow of starting air. The world is now accustomed to "embedded logic" doing most of the thinking, whether it is starting an engine or so much more. Let one little gremlin get loose in any of this modern technology, and the music stops and things go dead in the water.

  15. #31
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Vermont
    Posts
    36
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    34
    Likes (Received)
    7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike C. View Post
    Nope, was NOT an inertia starter. You did not wind up the flywheel and engage the clutch, it was directly driven from the crank. It was a geared drive crank starter, maybe 3:1 or so on the ratio.
    Mike
    This is what I meant by inertia starter....Starting a Waco UPF-7 - YouTube

  16. #32
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Posts
    4,437
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1565
    Likes (Received)
    450

    Default

    Great topic! Starting engines seems to interest many of us, I recall some good posts in the past on the subject, here's one I found:

    http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb...-motor-114758/

  17. #33
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Cullman, AL/New Orleans, LA
    Posts
    45
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    19

    Default

    "Impulse" is the magneto term for the "Spring" action... One sets a mag 90* off, so as the spring would wind... It would release/Impulse at top dead center.... Bob

  18. #34
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Brandon, MS
    Posts
    439
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    234
    Likes (Received)
    235

    Default Hucks starter.

    Yet another method of starting an aircraft engine. The Hucks starter, in which a modified T-Model truck is rigged to spin the propeller. Here's a link to the restoration of such a rig, and the first "Hucks start" in seventy years.

    The Moment - First Hucks Start in 70 Years > Vintage Wings of Canada

    ~TW~

  19. Likes Mike C., franco liked this post
  20. #35
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Posts
    13,205
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    6563
    Likes (Received)
    2545

    Default

    Dociron, yup, I know exactly what an inertia starter is, this was not one. There was no flywheel to wind up.

    Another starter that always interested me for aircraft use is one I never saw, but hear about form old timers. It was a spring type starter that had a handle similar to an emergency brake. You wound the spring up by pulling the handle in the cockpit and then hit a release to turn the engine. Seems a really good system. No battery to go dead and you are not in the vicinity of the prop for the start.

  21. #36
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    New England, USA
    Posts
    376
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    6
    Likes (Received)
    310

    Default

    everready-mechanical-starter-dykes-fourth-editition-pg-329.jpg

    Here is another one to add to the list, an Ever-Ready starter mounted on an early four cylinder Packard.

  22. Likes magneticanomaly liked this post
  23. #37
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Webster Groves, MO
    Posts
    7,177
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1797
    Likes (Received)
    3257

    Default

    Whenever I see discussions like this of the countless things people tried before finally reaching a agreed on solution, I think of customers who want a machine designed and built to do some industrial process and want a firm price and delivery date. They will not pay for experiments or design studies, expecting me to get it perfect in one pass.

    Bill

  24. #38
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Brandon, MS
    Posts
    439
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    234
    Likes (Received)
    235

    Default McDowell Aero Safety Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike C. View Post
    Another starter that always interested me for aircraft use is one I never saw, but hear about form old timers. It was a spring type starter that had a handle similar to an emergency brake. You wound the spring up by pulling the handle in the cockpit and then hit a release to turn the engine. Seems a really good system. No battery to go dead and you are not in the vicinity of the prop for the start.
    Mike,

    I'd forgotten about the cranking-from-within-the-cockpit scheme until your post jogged my memory. The device you mentioned was known as the “Aero Safety Starter” and was produced by the McDowell Manufacturing Co. Most folks called them a “McDowell Starter”. They were installed on some post-war light aircraft.

    Saw one back in the 1960's being removed from an Aeronca in favor of an electric starter. As I recall, a lever in the cockpit turned the engine over, maybe a half a revolution or so, thru a ratcheting mechanism connected to the crankshaft. Be advised that I never actually saw a “McDowell” starter in use, so my recollection may not be entirely accurate. I've not been able to find anything that describes a spring as actually being used to turn over the engine, and the few owner's remarks seem to indicate that the lever itself turned over the engine. However, the spring seen in one of the attached links is fairly healthy - dunno if would spin a 65-85 hp engine, or not.

    I did a bit of searching and came up with a link to a web post by a fellow that's apparently a bit of a modern day authority on the McDowell starter:

    McDowell Safety Starter information

    I also found a 1940 patent application by R.V. Trader which I assume led to the “McDowell” starter. It describes both ring-pull and lever actuation methods of manually starting an aircraft engine from within the cockpit. Both arrangements operated via cables that engaged the crankshaft via a ratcheting pawl mechanism. Here's a PDF link to the Trader patent:

    http://www.aeronca.com/manuals/airpl...nt_2266098.pdf

    I've also attached an exploded parts view of a “McDowell” starter installation.

    ~TW~
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails mcdowell-safety-starter.jpg  

  25. Likes Mike C. liked this post
  26. #39
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    5
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    0

    Default

    I find this kind of history just fascinating to see how it all was assembled, the state of the art. If you consider what is possible today and how easy it has become.

  27. #40
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    midlands,UK
    Posts
    3,153
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1625
    Likes (Received)
    1539

    Default

    Just happened across mention of a Bryce Berger hydraulic starter in the latest edition of Classic Tractor magazine ,this was in the late 50s on a tractor (Hunslet MT 25) designed for coal mine use. After a search it appears these starters are still around.


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •