Author Topic: SIMPLICITY: Real and Perceived  (Read 11467 times)

Offline jas67

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Re: SIMPLICITY: Real and Perceived
« Reply #30 on: December 31, 2014, 09:47:38 AM »
As troublesome as the new jet engines are; I'll wager they are a dream compared to the old multi layer radials that the airlines used.

The R4360 used on the Connie was a 28 cylinder engine, for a total of 112 cylinders on the airplane.   And, remember, aircraft engines always have 2 plugs per cylinder (redundancy), so, that is 224 spark plugs to change  :o

I imagine it takes a while to check/set the valve clearance on all 224 valves too.
 
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faffi

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Re: SIMPLICITY: Real and Perceived
« Reply #31 on: January 10, 2015, 03:57:17 PM »
Complexity doesn't have to exclude simplicity, whereas simplicity can also be crude and complex in its own way.

A few examples. Fixing the gearbox on a Japanese twin or single usually mean splitting the cases. Complex. But that does not happen often, if at all, for most owners because the transmission tend to outlast the life of the vehicle. But since it is simple and reliable to use and maintenance free, the complexity doesn't matter and for the user it is a simple item that doesn't warrant any concern. However, the gearbox on a Harley or an old British motorcycle, by being a separate chain driven unit, will need relatively frequent attention in order to be properly adjusted. You also have a separate unit demanding its own oil, so more to buy and think of. Then comes the time to replace chain and sprockets and the whole primary drive including the clutch must be removed to get access. So the simpler construction ends up as a more complex item.

Electronic ignition, automatic timing advancers, automatic oil pumps, alternators and starter motors - even electronic ignition - are all complex compared to the manual devices that preceded them. They are also generally very reliable and doesn't need any attention in most vehicles. They simply work.

Still, I love simplicity. For me, simplicity is something that makes my day easier. Sometimes, you need to balance the daily simplicity up against the occasional frustration. Look at a bike like the Suzuki 650 V-Strom. Whether you like it or not isn't the topic, but it is one of the most reliable and practical and versatile motorcycles on the market today. It also has valves that is a PITA to measure - let alone adjust - that even if I could tolerate to looks of the bike and bought it, the everyday good could not outweigh the horror of adjusting the valves every 16k miles. For me. Especially since it could easily have been made much simpler. But I doubt the designers and mechanics ever met or spoke through the history of motoring, which is why we are stuck with complex solutions to simple questions.


faffi

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Re: SIMPLICITY: Real and Perceived
« Reply #32 on: January 10, 2015, 04:40:31 PM »

56Pan

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Re: SIMPLICITY: Real and Perceived
« Reply #33 on: January 10, 2015, 06:34:07 PM »
The R4360 used on the Connie was a 28 cylinder engine, for a total of 112 cylinders on the airplane.   And, remember, aircraft engines always have 2 plugs per cylinder (redundancy), so, that is 224 spark plugs to change  :o

I imagine it takes a while to check/set the valve clearance on all 224 valves too.
 

I believe the engines on the Lockheed Constellation were Wright R-3350's.  18 cyl. two rows of 9.  Later models of the ship had the 3350's with the 3 power recovery turbines.  Gave them another 500 hp.  When they worked.

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Re: SIMPLICITY: Real and Perceived
« Reply #33 on: January 10, 2015, 06:34:07 PM »

Offline jas67

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Re: SIMPLICITY: Real and Perceived
« Reply #34 on: January 10, 2015, 09:48:28 PM »
I believe the engines on the Lockheed Constellation were Wright R-3350's.  18 cyl. two rows of 9.  Later models of the ship had the 3350's with the 3 power recovery turbines.  Gave them another 500 hp.  When they worked.

My bad.    Yes, you are correct, Wright R-3350's.      For some reason, I had thought that the Super Connie had the Pratt & Whitney R-4360 Wasp Major.    The Boeing 377 had the R-4360s.     Where the Connie was one of the best looking airliners of it's time, the 377 was pretty ungainly looking.



« Last Edit: January 10, 2015, 10:35:03 PM by jas67 »
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2013 Ducati Monster 796, 2013 848 Evo Corse SE, 1974 750GT, 1970 Mk3d Desmo, 1966 Monza 250
2007 Vespa GTS250
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Offline LowRyter

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Re: SIMPLICITY: Real and Perceived
« Reply #35 on: January 10, 2015, 10:01:03 PM »
This is incorrect, in my opinion.  An aircraft gas turbine engine is a far cry from anything simple.  The bleed system on the Pratt and Whitney engines is complicated.  The variable inlet guide vanes on the GE engines that does the same thing as the bleed valves on the Pratt's is another troublesome thing to rig correctly.  And if it's rigged wrong on the GE's and the compressor stalls, just bring it back to the gate, take the passengers off and get the engine change crew out there. One compressor stall and the engine has to go almost every time. The pneumatic system on either engine that supplies the air con. and cabin pressurization is very maintenance intensive.  Ask any airline mechanic how much he enjoys changing the Pressure regulating and shutoff valve in either engine pylon of a B767.  Sorry to rant here, but I just retired after 42 yrs. working on these engines and I miss them like a dirty shirt.  I don't even want the SOB's flying over my house. They just_look_simple.  And as troublesome as the old radials were, there's no other sound like all 4 P&W 18 cyl. R2800s on a DC-6 full power maintenance run with the throttles at the forward stop when the water/meth switches are thrown. Now, that's mechanic's music.

Best to you in your retirement.  It sounds like you were due.
John L 
When life gets you down remember it's one down and the rest are up.  (1-N-23456)


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