Monday, May 29, 2006

On crankshafts, torque and roses

In his aeronautical studies, Ludwig Wittgenstein followed the path which had been proposed by Boltzmann: in Berlin he studied the properties of flying objects with reference to hot air balloons, in Derbyshire the stabilisation and steering of flying objects, while in Manchester he devoted himself to the central problem of aeronautics, the development of an aero-engine. In this regard, there were two problems associated with conventional motors which had to be overcome; firstly, the large weight of the crankshaft, power plant and drive-shaft; and secondly, the destabilising torque from propellers driven from a central shaft. Wittgenstein’s original construction concept solved both problems

While Wittgenstein continued to brood on other more relevant questions after deposing his patent, the progress of aeronautic engineering speeded away to unbelievable heights. Sam Renseiw filmed a portion of an evolved hybrid crankshaft/torque application at a recent open fair in Bellahøj. Enjoy the ride here, or try sit in one of the vehicles above. (patafilm #183, 02'30'', 11 MB, mov/quicktime - Flash version here)