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back to article Lifesize, driveable AIR-POWERED LEGO CAR hits the road

An Australian entrepreneur and Romanian tinkerer have built an air-powered car out of LEGO. Detailed at the modestly-named www.superawesomemicroproject.com, the car was built with funds contributed by 40 “patrons” who each stumped up an undisclosed amount to summon it into existence. Australian Steve Sammartino led the …

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Bronze badge

Non lego...

Quite a few non lego parts in there.

Pretty cool idea though...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Non lego...

Quite a few non lego parts in there.

Probably true if you remember the good old days when lego was all 4x2, 2x2, 2x1, 1x1 etc bricks .... but in modern lego it seems that whenever there's something needed that can't be made out of existing bricks then a new brick/shape is invented.

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Bronze badge

Re: Non lego...

I would have said that the shape can be made out of ordinary bricks but it looks a bit blocky and might be a little complicated for today's kids.

Whatever the reason is, it's annoying as you buy one set and it's not much good for anything except to make one or two models.

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Re: Non lego...

Are you volunteering to build a compressed air tank out of lego?

I'd pay too watch the testing...from a distance ;)

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Anonymous Coward

Hold on, I built a lego car in 1976 powered by a battery operated fan!

All went well until it ran into the dog and got tangled in the dogs hair necessitating the use of scissors,then repeated the experiment on my older sister, but that was more satisfying. The fan was taken away never to be seen again.

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Surely...

..that's a radial engine, not a rotary engine. Rotary engines don't have pistons.

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FAIL

Re: Surely...Wrong ! But ...

... I can see why.

Pistonless Rotary engines like the Wankel engine have no pistons. But ordinary rotary engines do have pisons - though they look very similar to radial engines. The difference is that in the former the crankshaft is fixed and the cylinders rotate, the latter is the more conventional fixed cyclinders and rotating shaft.

Wiki is your friend here :

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

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

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

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

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Re: Surely...

"..that's a radial engine, not a rotary engine. Rotary engines don't have pistons."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotary_engine says you are wrong. Back in the day, people tried all sorts of weird stuff, and in some ways the weirdest was the pre-1920s device called a rotary engine. It had its main use in aviation, and it somewhat resembles a radial engine. The principal difference is that a radial engine's block is bolted to the airframe, and its crankshaft to the propeller, while a rotary engine's block is bolted to the propeller and its crankshaft to the airframe. The result is that the whole engine rotates, whence the name. It suffers two main disadvantages: relative inefficiency at high power levels, and a heavy gyroscopic effect, which outweigh the main advantages - they don't need a separate flywheel because the rotating cylinder blocks act as an effective flywheel, and they are, especially in aviation applications, effectively air-cooled without further work..

More modern applications of the term "rotary engine" refer to pistonless internal combustion engines like the Wankel rotary, and of course a pedantic application of the term would include turbine engines.

And anyway, if you look closely at the website, you'll find that it is an orbital engine, info at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orbital_engine .

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Surely...

using wikipedia as a reliable source! ha

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Re: Surely...

Wow, every day's a school day! :D

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Re: Surely...

The article does indeed say orbital engine, but reading your wiki ref suggests very much that this is not the case ...

I suspect that the power plant is a horizonal stack of radial engines - though the even number of cylinders would be unusual (radials and rotaries normally have an odd number) - looks like 16 cyclinders per layer, and four blocks of four layers each.

"Back in the day, people tried all sorts of weird stuff" - my personal favourite (which I saw first in a 1930's set of books called "Modern High Speed Diesel Engines") is the Junkers 12 piston 6 cyclinder diesel Aero engine.

Those of us who like wierd old kit will really appreciate this ...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Junkers_Jumo_205

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2QxEXYlc2w

http://www.enginehistory.org/Diesels/CH4.pdf

http://www.billzilla.org/Junkers1.jpg

Those o

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MJI
Silver badge

Re: Surely...

4 stroke requires an odd number of cylinders, if you follow the cycles it makes sense.

2 strokes do not care and the compressed air engine is nearer to a 2 stroke.

That Junkers engine though - seen much better than that, search up Napier Deltic. 18 cylinders, 36 pistons, 3 cranks, triangular engine shape, normal home being in pairs, in what was originally the worlds most powerful Diesel loco, now just the UKs most powerful passenger Diesel loco.

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Re: Surely...

@AC 09:13 GMT

Found something wrong on wikipedia? Fix it instead of moaning ... FFS

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Re: Surely...

4 stroke requires an odd number of cylinders

eh? Are you talking about any 4 stroke engine? Or just one of these rotary/radial doo-hickeys?

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Re: Surely... Deltic

Looked it up, nice. Taking the Junkers into three dimensions in a, well ... um, delta shape :o)

Might be a bit heavy as an aero engine tho ...

As we seem to have strayed into the odd engines thread - can I also volunteer that wonder of the road, the Commer TS3 - three cylinder, 6 horizontally opposed pistons but only 1 crankshaft. Compact, flat and designed to be maintained !

http://www.flickr.com/photos/31486821@N02/galleries/72157628859068527

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rds

Re: Surely...

What you are thinking of is a Wankel engine.

Rotary engines are similar in build to radial engines but the crankshaft is fixed and the block rotates. These were commonly used on WW1 era aircraft as the rotation of the block ensured good cooling but there is a limit to how large / fast reving you can make them before they fly apart.

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Silver badge

Re: Surely...

The British version

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

I'm told the Railway engine version was very distinctive sound. Very powerful too.

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Bronze badge

Re: opposed pistons

My Grandfather used to run a haulage business and had a truck with a Commer 2 stroke opposed piston diesel engine, Apparently it was prone to chuffing great fiery clouds of smoke and sparks from the exhaust, much to the delight of my father, he thought the design was mad, but awesome, I'd love to see one for myself one day.

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Silver badge

Re: opposed pistons

Watch the video: the entire bank of cylinders is not rotating, so I don't think it's a rotary engine. The bank of cylinders stays fixed in place so I believe it is most likely a radial engine.

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MJI
Silver badge

Re: Surely...

eh? Are you talking about any 4 stroke engine? Or just one of these rotary/radial doo-hickeys?

Rotary and Radial only

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Re: Surely...

"I'm told the Railway engine version was very distinctive sound. Very powerful too."

See also: Paxman Valenta.

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

http://youtu.be/8q2o7QUzY6k?t=4s

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Lots of power in compressed air...

Lego engines using the lego pneumatic cylinders are quiet popular builds, there's plenty on youtube and you can buy them here www.lpepower.com

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Re: Lots of power in compressed air...

yes, I wouldn't expect them to make a lot of noise.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Lots of power in compressed air...

Yes, lots:

http://youtu.be/WYGYc5as3yk

http://youtu.be/cJUL6fQCXHQ

http://youtu.be/G8YMigsZqeE

http://youtu.be/w6U2gxU7VJk

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@Andrew Moore

Thanks, I'd like to quietly point out that that's a typographical error, and not quite a spelling mistake.

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Silver badge

bloody forriners

"Raul Oaida built the vehicle in his native Romania"

Can't have them coming over here showing us up by building cars out of Lego!

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TRT
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Watch out that you don't...

"hydroplane" [sic] if you hit a stud in the road!

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Anonymous Coward

Lego car?

The price of lego would make this cost more than a Beemer

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Hmmmmm

I'm not convinced.

The website doesn't show any photos of the construction or the interesting techy drive shafty bits. Where is the compressed air stored?

There's not really a proper explanation of how the engine works and how drive is transferred to the wheels.

Something just doesn't seem right to me. A bit like the wii-mote-flapping-arm-man-powered-human-flight thing the Reg fell for a while back. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/03/21/flying_man/

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Not as impressive as the Meccano Motorbike and sidecar built for James May this year and soon to be seen going round the Isle of Man TT course...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-isle-of-man-23898497

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Bronze badge

Re: James May

Yes I did note the absence of James May - nice to see that he's not the only one who is having weird ideas about what is and isn't possible with Lego and Meccano.

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Silver badge

Bah!

Playmobil analysis or didn't happen.

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Black Helicopters

Well that didn't take long

Hmmm... It sure didn't seem to take long for the [censored] to catch wind of this dangerous new technology and deploy a drone to investigate and/or possibly destroy it.

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Pint

Cold Beer anyone>

One advantage of a compressed air engine would be that it could cool your beer on the way home from the shops!

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Chapeau!

Living proof that people have too much time on their hands. But cool.

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Thumb Up

Proof Positive

You can never have enough Lego

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