The Flamelicker

James L. Eochantin
January/February 1970


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The 'What Is It?' engine, on the top of page 22 of the March-April GEM, is indeed a 'flamelicker'.

I came across an article in the December 1938 issue of Popular Mechanics ; It explained the operation of this type of hot-air engine, and included plans for construction of one.

The burner, or candle flame, provides the power for the engine. The two-stroke cycle is shown in the diagram. Just before top dead center the valve opens; the piston starts on the downward stroke (fig. 1.) and 'inhales' part of the flame (actually hot gas); the valve closes at bottom dead center, and immediately the gas cools, creates a vacuum, and draws the piston back up (fig. 2.), the power stroke. The valve opens just before top dead center to let the cooled gas escape before drawing a fresh charge of hot gas.

A model engine of this sort should not be hard to construct, as the two-stroke cycle needs no gears. The piston does not require elaborate sealing, and the valve mechanism and timing are not at all critical. The original Popular Mechanics article showed bearings built up out of solder, asbestos cordfora single piston ring, and a flap-like valve operated by a cam on the crank-shaft.

Another Show coming up on April 10, 11, & 12, in Cheraw, South Carolina also makes one think of Spring and flowers, Mr. & Mrs. R. S. Rogers, who are planning the show. And at that time, in that State, Winter will have been forgotten and many flowers will be in full bloom.

Mr. & Mrs. Regnold Wood of Sheds, New York are starting their son out early to be a gas engine enthusiasts. He is two years old and enjoys getting the wrenches for Dad and climbing on the engines. Mrs. Wood says he likes for his Daddy to read to him from the 'bang away' book (GEM). The son enjoyed the picture of the doggie and 'bang away', in Nov-Dec. issue.

Following is the answer I received in reference to Mr. Al Troyer's 'Edwards' engine. It may help others also. Mr. Carlton Perry, 413 N. James Street, Peekskill, N. Y. 10566, writes, 'This was a 2 cylinder hopper cooled with 2 lubricators each lubricator supplied oil to piston, wrist pin & connecting rod bearing. Flywheel was mounted on crankshaft between connecting rods. As near as I can remember they were made in the late teens & up to about the mid twenties.'

'To crank engine use leather strap about 3? ft. long by 3/4 in. wide attach EL shaped steel wire (No. 10 gauge wire) to one end of strap (warning DO NOT MAKE WIRE IN SHAPE OF A HOOK) insert end of wire in hole of pulley, wrap strap around pulley clock wise facing have only enough left to pull on to start engine. A hand loop on strap was also used.'

'H.P. rating was 1? to 6 this adjustment was made by hand nut opposite pulley side. H.P. change could be made while engine was running. This was a selling point of this engine.'

'NOTE when engine is set for 1? hp. ONLY ONE cylinder is working.' Mr. Perry wrote that from memory. A friend of his once owned an Edwards. I would say he has a keen memory.

Mr. Bert Lehman, 2050 S. Humboldt, Denver, Colorado 80210, writes that his most recent find 'is a very badly rusted engine. It has no name plate or serial number and no evidence of ever having one. All of the castings have the trademark I H C on them. 3-5/8 inch bore, 3-1/2 inch stroke, 5? inch flywheels, 1-1/8 inch dia. bearings. Bronze connecting rod and it is water cooled hit and miss.' He needs information on the carburetor and magneto, if it ever had one. He would like to correspond with owners of this type engine.

Sorry we have exhausted our supply of Aermotor Catalogs. At this time we aren't considering reprinting.

By the time you read this, no doubt, you have broken some New Year's resolutions but we do hope you have a very Happy and Prosperous New Year.

Monitor 1? hp. pump engine owned by Francis Sevart and displayed at the Pioneer Harvest Show. Photo by Myrl Hix, Pittsburg, Kansas.

A 1? hp. Bull Dog engine we secured not long ago. On the name plate is written -Manufactured by Bates and Edmunds Motor Co., Lansing, Michigan. Can anyone tell me more about the company, as to what sizes of engine they made and about how old this engine is?

It was taken from an old blacksmith shop which was built about 1902. Wish we had a good picture of another to determine the original ignitor and the mechanism. Note long racker arm for exhaust valve. Both valves are in the removal head and have access plugs over them.


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