Quite a few non lego parts in there.
Pretty cool idea though...
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 …
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.
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.
... 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 :
"..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 .
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 ...
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.
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 !
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.
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.
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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