For help, advice and discussion about stuff not related to aviation. Play nice: no religion, no politics and no axe grinding please.
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#1818322
T6Harvard wrote:In that vane, a few of my favourite amazing, as in HOW did they think of THAT, inventions are probably first and foremost GEARS, but others include simple things such as the Vernier gauge, and jubilee clips.


And before the gears, think about the wheel plus axle -- something that has no counterpart in nature. (And of course the vital decision as to what colour the wheel should be.)

PS: "In that vein…" (vane being something else that attaches to a wheel). :wink:
T6Harvard liked this
#1818326
T6Harvard wrote:I like to say I lack the imagination, rather than being thick (although I may well be) :lol:

Every time I open the cowling to check the oil I see the Lycoming boxer engine. At no point have I thought "Hey, why not turn the pistons around so one can get rid of the cylinder heads?". From now on, I don't think I can look at a boxer engine without thinking that. So imagination definitely plays a big part!

(Not that I would have been able to design an engine even with such a flash of insight. :D )
T6Harvard liked this
#1818373
akg1486 wrote:Every time I open the cowling to check the oil I see the Lycoming boxer engine. At no point have I thought "Hey, why not turn the pistons around so one can get rid of the cylinder heads?". From now on, I don't think I can look at a boxer engine without thinking that. So imagination definitely plays a big part!


The opposed piston engine had been around since 1882 as the Atkinson differential engine.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opposed-piston_engine
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atkinson_cycle#Atkinson_%22Differential_Engine%22
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Atkinson_(inventor)

If you started with a four stroke and thought of turning it around, you'd immediately think about how to sort out the valve issue! There was a four stroke version but it wasn't the norm.

There's a modern opposed piston diesel engine for light aircraft, but I haven't heard much about it in recent years. It was one of a handful of aero diesel engines announced all around the same time, some years ago, but hasn't seem to have taken off, so to speak.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diesel_Air_Dair_100
Last edited by Paul_Sengupta on Wed Jan 06, 2021 4:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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