Steam Airship Progress

Posted on

It's been a while since I have posted anything about the airship that I have been working on. Needless to say, there hasn't been a lot of progress, as the national helium shortage continues. But, in the mean time, I have been working on the boiler.

I got interested in a new project with steam when I saw this video on making a steam powered candle. It was so simple, I thought I could talk my wife into letting me get the parts. Well, I couldn't find a small enough copper tubing. The tubing I did find (actually housing for a furnace thermostat) was too big, and sunk the tea-light candle that I was using. But it fit well into the test tube that I had set aside for the airship as a boiler. ^_^

So, I connected the tubing to the boiler, and set it up over my canister of chafing fuel. It worked like a charm! The water boiled quickly, the steam exited, and nothing blew (my real worry). So now, I just need a small engine or turbine.

I was going to build a quick turbine out of the left over parts of the thermostat and a soda can, but we didn't have any soda cans. The weekend being Christmas, I decided I would just wait until later in the week to build the turbine.

So, while I have been waiting, I found a very useful website on building steam engines. It's posted by a university in order to build their program, which is fine for me. Ultimately, it gives me some great ideas on various other steam engine applications I can use, namely my ambition to build a steamer automobile (once my wife can be talked into it ^_^).