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Velocipede Designs

11/26/2010 10:58 AM

Does the bicycle have a better design (mechanically speaking) compared to the earlier velocipede designs which had unequal wheel sizes? If so, how is it explained?

Or is it just that the bicycle was more convenient (for sitting on) compared to the velocipedes? Was there a perceived advantage in the idea of using unequal sized wheels when the velocipede first came out?

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#1

Re: Velocipede Designs

11/26/2010 11:06 AM

Many of your answers can be found at the Wiki article about the Penny-farthing.

Will you credit CR4 on your homework paper?

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#24
In reply to #1

Re: Velocipede Designs

12/01/2010 7:43 AM

This is not a "homework". I am not an Mechanical Engineering student or anything, I posed that out of curiosity.

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#2

Re: Velocipede Designs

11/26/2010 11:14 AM

Velocipede's were promoted by shoe salesmen and were abandon after several mishaps in the city of San Francisco due to burned feet.

In fact the tune "I left my heart in San Francisco" was originally "I left my soles in San Francisco".

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#3

Re: Velocipede Designs

11/26/2010 11:51 AM

If the front wheel is smaller you are always going downhill and thus don't have to pedal so hard.
Del

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Velocipede Designs

11/26/2010 12:05 PM

Is this why the padded saddle-horn was developed?

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#5

Re: Velocipede Designs

11/26/2010 12:34 PM

"If so, how is it explained?"

Advancements in technology. The French were first on the ground, and in the air.

My distant relative Jean-Claude Empennage was credited with inventing the first non-lethal rear control section for early French airplanes.

You can read all about his exploits in the LynDoor™ Press first edition of "Uncle Empy, My Personal Hero", written by yours truly and edited by my associate Doorman.

Chain drive and rubber tires were downfall of the boneshaker.

Good luck with your homework.

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: Velocipede Designs

11/26/2010 1:22 PM

Wasn't it the French that developed the concept of anchoring the crankshaft and attaching the propeller to the crankcase? I suspect the term "missing a cylinder" was coined then.

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#7
In reply to #6

Re: Velocipede Designs

11/26/2010 1:31 PM

An 80 horsepower rated

Le Rhône 9C, a typical rotary engine of WWI. The copper pipes carry the fuel-air mixture from the crankcase to the cylinder heads.

I've never seen one running, but it must have been quite a sight.

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#8
In reply to #7

Re: Velocipede Designs

11/26/2010 4:55 PM
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#9
In reply to #8

Re: Velocipede Designs

11/26/2010 11:02 PM

Are all gnome engines rotary? Engines (radial engines) with fixed engine blocks and rotary crank were also used in air craft?

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#11
In reply to #9

Re: Velocipede Designs

11/27/2010 12:38 AM

Last summer, at Oshkosh, Wisconsin (EAA AirVenture) I had the privilege to help lift one off a test / display stand, and load it into the back of a van for transport back home. The owners had brought it there, and demonstrated it at intervals, during the fly-in. Everything was coated with castor oil, slightly tacky, and with a distinct odor. We were warned to make sure we washed our hands thoroughly before eating, or learn first-hand of the oil's laxative effect!

A week later, I was looking at some used books, and the seller noticed my aircraft-themed T-shirt and belt buckle, and said that he had a book I might like. It was AIRCRAFT MECHANICS HANDBOOK: A Collection of Facts and Suggestions From Factory and Flying Field, published in 1918 by McGraw-Hill. I opened it at random, and it showed the opening page of the chapter on Gnome engines first thing (p164). SOLD! How could I possibly pass it up at that point? I have it open in front of me as I write. The only form of engine in this chapter is the rotary. While there were other rotaries, none is treated in this book. So, I believe that at least in 1918, all Gnomes were rotary engines.

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#13
In reply to #11

Re: Velocipede Designs

11/27/2010 3:03 AM

"all Gnomes were rotary engines"

But, you see this one, I snapped at San Fransisco airport appearers to be a stationary engine, right?

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#14
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Re: Velocipede Designs

11/27/2010 3:29 AM

Stationary?
Indeed no, it's contributing to the rotation of the Earth, which would have stopped by now were it not for all those engines cunningly hidden in museums.
Hadn't you noticed how they are all aligned East West?
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#15
In reply to #14

Re: Velocipede Designs

11/27/2010 8:34 AM

Stationary is not the opposite of rotary, isn't it? Then what, 'fixed engines', right?

Who knows, on days to come, those cunning models might jump out of museums with new redesigns and lead West to East or up and down !

Were ever gnome engines used for helicopters?

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#16
In reply to #13

Re: Velocipede Designs

11/27/2010 10:38 AM

That one does indeed appear to be a radial engine, as opposed to rotary. And while on display this way, it could be considered stationary relative to the local landmass - but "stationary engine" has a quite different meaning to anyone familiar with historical machinery.

HOWEVER, I can't see why this changes anything in my answer, since it also appears to be a Wright "Whirlwind" J5A engine rather than a Gnome (different companies, different countries). Evidence includes the TWO valves on each head instead of one (Gnome engines were famously monosoupape, or single-valve: see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnome_Monosoupape), the fact that it's a later engine than 1918, and the lower left corner of your second photo, where the name and year are conveniently provided.

A short history of aircraft engines is at http://machinedesign.com/article/100-years-of-aircraft-engines-0918.

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#17
In reply to #16

Re: Velocipede Designs

11/27/2010 11:17 AM

ga. thank you.

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#18
In reply to #17

Re: Velocipede Designs

11/27/2010 11:24 AM

Hey Chris you are finally cracking up...
How can you give a GA to something which bears no relationship whatsoever to the original Q ? Which was I believe about bicycles?
Or am I missing something?...I think you should banish yourself to the thread which can't be named until you have recovered your senses.
Or maybe the winter has already given you cabin fever?
The UK is in disarray because of a little snow as usual.
Mind, If you give me a GA I won't report you to the GA police.
This post will self destruct in 30 seconds... (anyhow Kris made me write it)
Del

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#19
In reply to #18

Re: Velocipede Designs

11/27/2010 11:40 AM

I did it. I couldn't help it. I couldn't think of anything clever to say about bicycles, but for some reason, empennage popped into my head, so.............I hijacked the thread with my little fabrication. He's not really my uncle.

Frankly, I think airplanes are more fun than boneshakers anyway.

But, I've a good mind to report you the the GA police for bribery. (I still remember your shameless grovelling when you were trying to get that 200th GA, back when)

My fault, chrisg288

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#20
In reply to #18

Re: Velocipede Designs

11/27/2010 12:02 PM

its not cracking up... its waking up. thank you.

its saturday morning... first cup of steaming coffee held tightly... while the wisps and aches slowly fade... enjoying an interesting history of aircraft engines.... when suddenly, I'm unsuspectingly pounced on by a pernicious fatally funny feline...

I wonder what would happen if the CR4 magicians programmed an automatic 'new thread' whenever people wandered off into the rhododendrons... and awards could be given for 'good thread'.. (GT) (I'm sure you and Kris would have the most awards)

I have things to say about bicycles... probably... I just got distracated by aircraft engines.. nothing wrong with that. also because like you can combine the two.. so that makes it relevant. so there...

here is your ga.

Chris

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#22
In reply to #20

Re: Velocipede Designs

11/27/2010 1:11 PM

Oooh, I like the bike with the engine on the back...just gotta be V careful how you swing your leg over if the prop is still rotating
Del

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#23
In reply to #16

Re: Velocipede Designs

11/27/2010 10:59 PM

"That one does indeed appear to be a radial engine, as opposed to rotary. And while on display this way, it could be considered stationary relative to the local landmass - but "stationary engine" has a quite different meaning"

Radial but not Rotary, Thanks for the clarificatin...

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#12
In reply to #7

Re: Velocipede Designs

11/27/2010 1:18 AM

you can see them running in the movie "The Red Baron" which I found rather enjoyable.

Chris

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#10
In reply to #6

Re: Velocipede Designs

11/27/2010 12:33 AM

The French are seemingly always trying something weird unusual; how about a combination pump and auto loading shotgun?

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#21

Re: Velocipede Designs

11/27/2010 12:28 PM

check the video on this site... I especially like the '8-point' steering system on the 'dog'

chris

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#26
In reply to #21

Re: Velocipede Designs

12/01/2010 9:39 AM

I just now got a chance to check out the video. Ultra!

Thanks Chris!

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#25

@Del the Cat

12/01/2010 7:50 AM

So a smaller wheel in front is advantageous to move downhill and would that mean a bigger wheel compared to the rear is advantageous to move uphill? Is that what the wheel difference is based on?

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