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Thread: Now THAT'S a Spinner!

  1. #1
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Now THAT'S a Spinner!

    Check out the spinner on the Morane Saulnier N. Can you imagine trying to make such a large symmetrical bowl in your shop? Yet the technology of 1915 wasn't that much above what homebuilders have now.



    The picture's so clear you can see the rows of fasteners holding the bowl to bulkheads fore and and aft of the propeller.

    I'm curious as to the material used. Aluminum was pretty high-tech in 1915, and sheet steel would have to have been pretty thin to keep the weight down. Could this possibly have been turned wood?!!!!

    Also, look at the deflector plates installed on the faces of the propeller to deflect the bullets from the Lewis gun....

    Ron Wanttaja

  2. #2
    cwilliamrose's Avatar
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    Was metal spinning common back then? Seems like the cowlings on some WWI airplanes were spun.

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    According to Wikipedia:

    The Morane Saulnier Type N Bullit had a "large metal casserolle spinner designed to streamline the aircraft but caused the engine to overheat. In 1915 the spinners were removed and the overheating problems disappeared with little loss in performance."

  4. #4
    BusyLittleShop's Avatar
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    Yes I can imagine Ron... to make a spinner then and as well as now you start with a flat piece of aluminum and work it by hand onto to a buck in a Lathe...


  5. #5
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BusyLittleShop View Post
    Yes I can imagine Ron... to make a spinner then and as well as now you start with a flat piece of aluminum and work it by hand onto to a buck in a Lathe...
    Absolutely outstanding...Thanks!

    Ron Wanttaja

  6. #6
    BusyLittleShop's Avatar
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    You're welcome Ron...

    The Morane Saulnier was inspired by the success of Louis Bechereau's
    1912 Deperdussin monoplane racer... powered by a 190HP Gnome Lambda
    14-cylinder twin-row air-cooled rotary it was the worlds first
    aircraft to exceed 100 MPH barrier... just think in 1912 the worlds
    knowledge to engineer high speed aircraft was only 5 years old thanks
    to the Wright Brothers going public in 1907... Look closely and you
    can see the design trends that will follow in the years leading up to
    WW2... namely enclosed aerodynamic cowl and spinner to not only lower
    the drag of a radial engine but to manage the air for greater cooling...

    1912 Deperdussin was not only fast but also the first pure sex with
    wings aircraft...




    The iconic Deperdussin is also popular with replica builders...


  7. #7
    BusyLittleShop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Floatsflyer View Post
    According to Wikipedia:

    The Morane Saulnier Type N Bullit had a "large metal casserolle spinner designed to streamline the aircraft but caused the engine to overheat. In 1915 the spinners were removed and the overheating problems disappeared with little loss in performance."
    I doubt the claim because the advantage of the rotary engine's success
    was improved cooling: when the engine was running, the rotating
    crankcase cylinder assembly created its own fast-moving cooling
    airflow, even with the aircraft at rest or sporting a spinner...


  8. #8
    Dana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BusyLittleShop View Post
    I doubt the claim because the advantage of the rotary engine's success
    was improved cooling: when the engine was running, the rotating
    crankcase cylinder assembly created its own fast-moving cooling
    airflow, even with the aircraft at rest or sporting a spinner...
    Spinning the engine helps, but you still need to have cool air coming in. If the engine is spinning inside a box of hot air, the air will be circulating but it won't do much cooling.

  9. #9

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    Aluminum was crazy expensive back then, but we must remember that these aircraft were on par with professional racing cars today - the elite air racers of their day, where dollars-for-speed was just a given.

    If the spinner alone costs as much as a wing but gives one an extra three miles an hour in reduced drag, so be it. The spinner goes on. There are trophies and records on the line, and who can put a dollar value on that (well, except for the people putting up the prize money)?
    The opinions and statements of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

  10. #10
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    My thought is that the spinner was eliminated due to maintenance issues. It'd be crazy hassle to remove the thing to get at the front of the engine, especially when there's a huge bulkhead on the front of the prop to support the spinner.

    Ron Wanttaja

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