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Shotgun shells to start Radial engines

Hoagie1

Veteran

Redmond, WA

A couple of times, I ran into an instance where shotgun shells are used to start engines: 1) A WW2 era Wildcat in restoration at Boeing Museum, a worker mentioned it used a shotgun shell to start the engine and 2) The movie "Flight of the Phoenix", they had about 6-8 shotgun shells to start the engine during the finale.

How does such a short impulse of a shotgun shell translate into rotational movement to start engines?

05-30-2006 Over year old.
Doug

Elite Veteran

Naples Florida....

It's not "short impulse", it is a small gas generator (solid rocket type fuel) which burns for a a bit less than 1 min on most applications.

05-30-2006 Over year old.
phil p

Heliman

A big island, way way off the east coast

A Gas generator I guess. cartridge will give lots of high pressure gas that can be utilised to spin the engine. I would love to know how though, someone out there must know!

05-30-2006 Over year old.
Doug

Elite Veteran

Naples Florida....

The early recips use a piston which through helical gears provided several engine rotations during its stroke. Later jet engines use a starter very similar to the normal air starter and use a gas generator cartridge to generate the hot gas to spin the starter turbine. in some installations compressed air was used as an impingement turbine (just directed to a different location on the starter) the compressed air was stored in the top of the landing gear (DC-8) at very high pressure (>1000 psi). There were also fuel air starters which were a miniature rocket engine that used compressed air and fuel to spin a starter turbine.

05-30-2006 Over year old.
11290

Senior Heliman

Evansville, IN and Orlando, FL

Here is a link to read:

http://www.airliners.net/discussion....main?id=137772

and some more from another site:
Jim Hathaway provided the following info from a manual from 1939-
There were 2 types in the US, made by Coffmann (This was the Breeze Company- any relation to Breeze aircraft of the 1920s and 30s?) and the Eclpise- both were sililar in operation.
The cartridges resemble a shotgun shell, and the starter consists of a breech assembly, and the starter proper. The breech has a line going to the starter, and there is an exhaust line from the starter venting out of the aircraft. The starter is cylindrical and bolted to the accessory case on the normal starter pad. The starter also has a normal starter clutch on the end.
Internally, in the starter, there is a piston attached to the shaft by helical splines, the shaft goes to the starter clutch.
The cartridge is fired electrically, and the burning gas produces a high pressure through the line to the starter piston, which is pushed down, engaging the clutch. The helical splines give it a rotational motion. At the end of the piston's stroke, a valve opens to vent the gas from the starter, and allowing the piston to return to it's normal postion. The clutch disengages normally from the engine.
Aside from attaching it to the engine, and installing the breech, it requires no modifications of the engine, and is very light in weight.

05-30-2006 Over year old.
foo

Veteran

Richfield, Minnesota

They put them in the piston cylindars and set remote detonation ignitor inside the shell and then set them off in sequence to rotate the engine.

Raptor 30 v2 / OS .32 / JR 8103 / GY-401+9253 | Raptor 50 V2 / OS .50 Hyper

05-31-2006 Over year old.
GyroFreak

rrProfessor

Orlando Florida ...

Gas Generator

Hey, never stop learning. I also often wondered about this, thanks guys.

I think about the hereafter. I go somewhere to get something, then wonder what I'm here after ?

06-05-2006 Over year old.
mike the snake

Senior Heliman

santa rosa california

You're kidding right FOO?
You make it sound like they're setting off timed depth charges dropped directly into the cylinders. I don't think so.

06-05-2006 Over year old.
Gyronut

rrProfessor

Martinsville In.

In my time during the Vietnam "Conflict" we used the cartridges to start the engines on our B57's.

Made a hell of a racket and lots of black smoke.

Rick

06-05-2006 Over year old.
foo

Veteran

Richfield, Minnesota

lol

Raptor 30 v2 / OS .32 / JR 8103 / GY-401+9253 | Raptor 50 V2 / OS .50 Hyper

06-06-2006 Over year old.
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Shotgun shells to start Radial engines

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