There were a number of plans to build steam planes, especially steam
turbine ones. One steam plane did fly- a Great Lakes biplane, with
engine installation by Besler or Basler brothers, but it was only to
show it could be done.
However, in the thirties there were a number of designs drawn up for
large steam aircraft, though to my knowledge none ever flew. I forget
who was doing this in US- maybe it was Northrup- I'll look and see if
I can find it.
Back around 1890 Clement Ader was able to coax his bat winged,
carriage like steam powered Eole into a couple of short hops. Nothing
lke sustained, controlled flight, but it was certainly among the most
bizare looking of the early flying machines.
It was kitted by Brifaut n 1/70 scale. The injection molded were
covered in a blue silk smilar to the Renwal/Taimei "Aero Skin" series.
The model was so complex and fragile that each box contained two sets
Okay, found my book. The large steam flying boat design I was
referrring to was by Great Lakes.! This not the little biplane of the
demo, but a really large plane with a 2300 hp steam turbine. The
biplane used a steam recip. The Great Lakes flying boat had the
boiler and condenser in the hull, while the turbine was in the high
wing (wing on struts so the very large propeller would clear the
fuselage. The system used steam at 540 degrees C, 70 atm.
A British firm called Aero Turbines, showed a demo turbine in 1938,
and a German firm Huttner, had a similar design.
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