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Thread: Smallest turbine of them all!

  1. #1
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    Default Smallest turbine of them all!

    Hey all! I have another intersting thing for you guys. You Lionel lovers should recognize this one.
    What do you get when you crash a Boeing jet engine into a little Davenport 30 ton industrial engine? You get this little powerpack!
    http://www.northeast.railfan.net/images/usa1149.jpg
    This little curiosity is still preserved at the National Museum of Transportation as an example of how locomotive builders tried all sorts of crazy ideas as they attempt to improve the iron horse. Somebody had the bright idea of putting a jet engine in everything from main line locomotives to this little industrial switcher. Could you imagine the noise of industrial areas if they caught on? not to mention the vast amounts of fuel they'd consume or the clouds of smoke they'd make. Still, they'er a neat little engine; and I don't think Tim Tayler could ever complain about the amount of power in this puppy.

    I thought you might like that one!
    I'll keep suggesting ideas for you guys as I find 'em, although I know they won't all be built. I just thought I'd throw some ideas and a little inspiration your way. Keep up the good work, builders!

    http://www.azrymuseum.org/Projects/M.../smokin_sm.jpg
    Keeping Baldwins alive through the 21st century

  2. #2
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    Default RE: Smallest turbine of them all!

    >Hey all! I have another intersting thing for you guys. You
    >Lionel lovers should recognize this one.
    >What do you get when you crash a Boeing jet engine into a
    >little Davenport 30 ton industrial engine? You get this little
    >powerpack!


    Heheheh, I remember those little Boeing turbine jets...when I worked for a regional airline that still had some planes that required outside sources for air/power, we had a couple trucks with them mounted inside. The exhaust port, of course, was on the roof...and to air-start the DC-8's we had, we'd park it on the right side of the plane by the cockpit and plug the air into a port under the nose.

    One time the turbine didn't want to fire up, and then it finally "caught". Threw about 60' of flame straight up, and I was on the ground manning the tug to shove the plane backwards. I never saw a pilot and co-pilot vacate their seats so fast when that flame went past their windows!!!

  3. #3
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  4. #4
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    Default RE: Smallest turbine of them all!

    Hrm... interesting... going through all my resources (inlcuding the Boeing Website) I can't find any mention of where Boeing ever built an engine... are you sure that they didn't use a General Electric or Allison Turboshaft engine off a Boeing HELICOPTER to power the engine? I would bet money on that being the case. The Allison 501 (T-56) series of engines has been used on Helicopters, Tuboprop Aircraft (C-130, C-2, E-2, and P-3 are the best known military aircraft ot use them), and even power the US Navy's newest Destroyers, Frigates and Cruisers. They're also favorites to power tugboats and large fishing boats.

    Also, with the improvement of turbine technology, it's much more fuel efficient to use turboshaft engines than it was in the past, especially with the creation of the small (or light) turbines that power the Bell Helicopters and weigh less than 500 pounds yet produce 2000 Shaft Horsepower, making them very efficient. Also, they get 2 1/2 - 3 hours of operation at power with only 80 gallon tanks, so the fuel efficiency is potentially there.

  5. #5
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    Default RE: Smallest turbine of them all!

    Boeing didn't make jet engines.

  6. #6
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    Default RE: Smallest turbine of them all!

    Actually, they did. They were'nt as good as GEs or P&W or the other great turbine builders, but they did try their hand at it. This is a Davenport built locomotive with a Boeing class 502 tuboshaft gas turbine. It wasn't a large or exceptionally powerful unit, but it was good for samller jobs. it was actually considered as a possible alternative to mid-sized internal cumbustion and diesel engines. It was small enough to fit in the same spaces, but more powerfull than a conventional engine. The only problem was high fuel costs and excessive noise and pollution.

    They obviously don't consider the jet for these kinds of jobs anymore, and boeing left the turbine world shortly after this critter was built. Today, there are advances that have made turbins small enough to fit in the palm of your hand (they're used in model RC airplanes), so this isn't the smallest turbine ever built. I ment to title this one the 'Smallest turbine loco of them all', but I missed the loco part. As far as I know, there aren't any tubine locomotives that were built that are smaller than this one.

    Sorry for the confusion!
    Matthew Imbrogno
    http://www.azrymuseum.org/Projects/M.../smokin_sm.jpg
    Keeping Baldwins alive through the 21st century

  7. #7
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    Default RE: Smallest turbine(s) of them all! ;-)

    Mimbrogno - Oh how could you tempt me, thus?........I just have to make that one, do you have any more photos, please, and how would you describe the unusual wheel arrangement, too?

    I wonder what they put on the requisition form? "Low flying jet."?

    Added later, like five minutes...later:
    I just went to the National Transportation Museum site, where there's another (smaller) pic showing the loco from the other side, and end. You didn't mention it had TWO turbines.....

    What do you reckon would be the power output on those turbines. HP/kW rating?


  8. #8
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    Default RE: Smallest turbine(s) of them all! ;-)

    Uh oh, look what I started! ;) It looks like we might get a model of this one curtasy of captan Bazza! I'm afraid I don't have alot of information on this little critter, only the reference to the Boeing turbines and her being built by Davenport. What I do know, though, is Lionel made an almost scale model (by Lionel standards) of this little loco. She has a 2-4-2 wheel arrangment with siderods on the drivers. (That suggests a hydrolic jackshaft transmision.) I guess the extra trucks were to help distribute the weight, and guide the engine through the sharp turns of industrial track.
    You are correct about the 2 turbine drive; I had forgoten that fact. As for the model, I wish I could make a 3D scan of my Lionel model and save 90% of the work! :+ I'm not sure what suggestions I can give to you, except for just follow the picture. There isn't really much that's left out of the shot. You can see the running gear and the cab, hood, and front clearly. The only thing that you really need is a good overhead veiw, but I can help a little with my little Lionel. It's basically a plain jane top with three short stacks in a triangle formation at the front. There are no domes, as the sand is stored in little containers near the wheels. There's no hood behind the cab, it just has a flat, strait back with a walkway.

    Thanks for your interest, Captain! I'll give any help I can if you decide to build her.

    Matthew Imbrogno

  9. #9
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    Default RE: Smallest turbine(s) of them all! ;-)

    Matthew, if you know of anyone with a digital camera for close-up work, you could probably have a very good alternative to the scan. Probably already thought of it, but just in case .. ;-) That's one I'd like to see available also.

    RobertR .. ADF-M&RM at http://www.adfrr.com

  10. #10
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    Default RE: Smallest turbine(s) of them all! ;-)

    Thanks for the extra info. Regarding the tri-stack arrangement - that wasn't immediately apparent, but when you look closely the centered third stack is just visible at the corner of the righthand stack..but no sign of the left, probably due the semi-accute angle of view of the photo. The small pic on the museum site is too blurry to make out much detail, but it shows a view of the left side and cab rear.

    In the last few hours I've made quite a bit of progress on the model. I'm hopeless at making alphas, I always manage to screw the process, so I built the front grill in 3d and to heck with the polys and they are still under 10,000* - just by a tad.

    In the interests of 'science' I made few minor changes from the original, such as the brake fittings, as they were obscured in the photo.

    I'll stick to the colour scheme in the photo, although it's difficult to discern the body colour, which appears to be typical army very, very, dark green, with a touch or two of 'spit and polish'? No need to worry about weathering, either.

    (*Don't get too upset about this poly count thing, I never let it worry me, heh, heh!)

    Thanks for the offers of help, just let me know if anything comes to mind.





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