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Emca Combine. All Rights Reserved. 2 - 5 - 2008
Steam Powered RC Aircraft

"Comet" - The Steam Powered Aircraft

I was lucky to come accross a set of copies of  the drawings of the Comet , published by Mr. David Parker in the Model Engineer Magazine. The work started in 2000. I had prior experience on steam engines when I started this project. As a school boy in 1965, I had constructed an oscillating cylinder Steam Engine for a science exhibition. After leaving school, I joined an Engineering Firm where I worked in the tool room learning to operate lathe machines, milling machines, grinders etc.

My experience in flying RC Fixed Wing Models, Helicopters and Gyro copters was an added advantage to successfully complete the mission.

The engine construction started with the Base Plate and moved on to other items
Cylinder and Port Block

Completed Port Block Soldered to Cylinder

Piston, Cross Head and the O Ring

Throttle Valve Lubricator Assembly

Boiler Casing and the Fire Box

The Engine Fitted to the Boiler casing.

Wingspan - 75"  , Fuselage - 45"

The Take off Run was about 20 feet.

Gliding down for the landing after completing a flight of 4.5 minutes.
Technical Details:

Working Pressure (Steam) - 80 psi
Propellor  - 13"x 8" Wooden (Electric)
RPM - 3350 ( max 3600)
Static Thrust - 500g
Wingspan - 75"
Wing Area - 5.09 sq. ft.
Weight of Power Plant (Dry) - 735g
Water - 150g (Hot Water)
Methanol - 75ml
Weight Ready to Fly - 1469g (52oz)
Wing Loading - 11.51oz per sq. ft.
Engine Run Duration - 1.5 minutes @ 3500 RPM

The maiden flight was carried out on a calm day. There was a steady breeze of 8 mph. The Comet handled very well in the flight.

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