US3361036A - Steam engine with self-contained valvular mechanism - Google Patents

Steam engine with self-contained valvular mechanism Download PDF

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US3361036A
US3361036A US56807666A US3361036A US 3361036 A US3361036 A US 3361036A US 56807666 A US56807666 A US 56807666A US 3361036 A US3361036 A US 3361036A
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Prior art keywords
piston
valve
exhaust
cylinder
engine
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Harvey Robert
Maglio Francis Leo Lo
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THERMO ELECTRON ENG CORP
THERMO ELECTRON ENGINEERING CORP
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THERMO ELECTRON ENG CORP
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    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F01MACHINES OR ENGINES IN GENERAL; ENGINE PLANTS IN GENERAL; STEAM ENGINES
    • F01LCYCLICALLY OPERATING VALVES FOR MACHINES OR ENGINES
    • F01L35/00Lift valve-gear or valve arrangements specially adapted for machines or engines with variable fluid distribution
    • F01L35/04Arrangements of valves in the machine or engine, e.g. relative to working cylinder
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F01MACHINES OR ENGINES IN GENERAL; ENGINE PLANTS IN GENERAL; STEAM ENGINES
    • F01BMACHINES OR ENGINES, IN GENERAL OR OF POSITIVE-DISPLACEMENT TYPE, e.g. STEAM ENGINES
    • F01B17/00Reciprocating-piston machines or engines characterised by use of uniflow principle
    • F01B17/02Engines
    • F01B17/04Steam engines
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F01MACHINES OR ENGINES IN GENERAL; ENGINE PLANTS IN GENERAL; STEAM ENGINES
    • F01BMACHINES OR ENGINES, IN GENERAL OR OF POSITIVE-DISPLACEMENT TYPE, e.g. STEAM ENGINES
    • F01B25/00Regulating, controlling, or safety means
    • F01B25/02Regulating or controlling by varying working-fluid admission or exhaust, e.g. by varying pressure or quantity
    • F01B25/08Final actuators
    • F01B25/10Arrangements or adaptations of working-fluid admission or discharge valves
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F01MACHINES OR ENGINES IN GENERAL; ENGINE PLANTS IN GENERAL; STEAM ENGINES
    • F01BMACHINES OR ENGINES, IN GENERAL OR OF POSITIVE-DISPLACEMENT TYPE, e.g. STEAM ENGINES
    • F01B2170/00Steam engines, e.g. for locomotives or ships
    • F01B2170/04To-be-deleted with administrative transfer to parent group
    • F01B2170/0405To-be-deleted with administrative transfer to parent group
    • F01B2170/0423Single acting steam engines with 1, 2 or 3 cylinders

Description

Jan. 2, 1968 HARVEY ETAL 3,361,036

STEAM ENGINE WITH SELF-CONTAINEQ VALVULAR MECHANISM Original Filed Feb. 10, 1964 Fla. 1

Meier/n5 valve INVENTORS ROBERT HARVEY FIG, 2 F. LEO NLOMAGLIO BY W? T x- ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,361,036 STEAM ENGINE WITH SELF-CONTAINED VALVULAR MECHANISM Robert Harvey, Sudbury, and Francis Leo Lo Maglio,

Dracut, Mass, assignors to Thermo Electron Engineering Corp., a corporation of Massachusetts Original application Feb. 10, 1964 Ser. No. 343,317, now Patent No. 3,279,326. Divided and this application May 5, 1966, Ser. No. 568,tl76

3 Claims. (Cl. 91-224) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLGSURE A reciprocating engine with self-contained valvular mechanism including a piston actuated admission valve with the piston carrying spring actuated exhaust valves responding to variations in pressure within the cylinder to allow the working fluid to exhaust at a predetermined pressure.

This application is a division of application Ser. No. 343,817, filed Feb. 10, 1964.

This invention relates generally to steam engines and more particularly to a miniaturized steam engine adapted for use with a package or compact steam generator.

With the advent of military forces operating in remote regions of the world, a need has developed for a light weight, portable electrical generating unit that can be transported and operated by a field unit without the usual difliculties encountered in conventional electrical generating power unit. The usual difficulties which are inherent with conventional power plants are problems encountered with starting, ignition servicing, ingestion of water or other foreign matter into the exhaust or intake, hence int-o the engine.

Therefore, it is an object of this invention to provide a simple, novel and portable reciprocating steam engine which, adapted for use with a miniaturized steam generator, can be used for portable power generation.

Another object of this invention is to provide a direct expansion, closed system unifiow type reciprocating steam engine without piston rings or conventional valve timing mechanisms.

Another object of this invention is to provide a reciprocating engine having a tuned admission valve.

A further object of this invention is to provide a reciprocating engine in which the possibilities of contamination of the boiler water is minimal, since the cycle is a closed cycle, which is hermetically sealed.

A further object of this invention is to provide a relatively silent prime mover adapted for use with an electrical generator.

Another object of this invention is to provide a reciprocating engine Where the exhaust valve remains open during the return stroke thus maintaining the chamber at exhaust pressure and thus eliminating the back pressure on the piston during the return stroke.

Other objects of this invention will in part be obvious and will, in part, appear hereinafter.

Broadly stated, one feature of this invention is to provide a prime mover for use with a steam generator and in turn is utilized to drive an electrical generating unit which essentially must be portable and capable of relatively silent operation. Since the prime mover or engine can be operated in areas remote from repair and supply depots by average civilian and military perronnel, a further requirement is simplicity in operation and a design that eliminates constant adjustment of valve timing and the like. Consequently, the invention consists of a miniaturized reciprocating steam engine in which the admission valve is actuated by the piston travel and the open-time 3,36lfl35 Patented Jan. 2, i965 ice is determined by the natural resonant frequency of the admission valve mechanism. The engine therefore operates in direct relationship thereto eliminating valve gearing or eccentrics. The exhaust valves are located on the face of the piston, and utilize the cut-off principle to obtain the maximum exhaust emciency of the working fluid. Also taking into consideration the problems of initial cylinder condensation when the uni-flow principle is used, the exhaust valves and ports :are thus distinct and further removed from the admission ports so that the termination gradient existing between the cylinder walls and the admitting steam is kept at a minimum.

To the accomplishment of this and the foregoing related ends, the present invention then consists of the means hereinafter fully described and partially pointed out in the claims, the annexed drawings and the following description setting forth in detail certain means in the carrying out of the invention, such disclosed means illustrating however but one of the various Ways in which the principle of the invention maybe employed.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a view in section of the with the piston at top dead center; and

FIG. 2 is a side view in section of the reciprocating engine with the piston on the downward stroke or at bottom dead center.

Reference is now to be had to the drawings wherein an illustrative embodiment of the reciprocating engine, a construction made in accordance with the present invention and designated by the numeral Ill. The engine 10 consists primarily of a cylinder 12 with cylinder Walls 14 formed of graphite of a pure high density or other materials having similar properties, and a piston 16 having a skirt 18 adapted for reciprocating movement within the cylinder 12. At one end 20 of the cylinder the exhaust manifold 22 is secured by any suitable means having piping 24 adapted to convey exhaust fluid to a condenser (not shown) or the atmosphere. The piston rod 25 extends from the piston 16 through the exhaust manifold 22 and through suitable seals 28 to a crank (not shown) where the reciprocating motion is converted to a rotating force through a cross-head, connecting rod and crankshaft (not shown) in the usual manner. concentrically disposed within the cylinder and extending upward from the lower head 30 is a guide 32 which surrounds a portion of the length of the piston rod 26 to serve as a retainer for a spring member 34; the spring member 34 is concentrically disposed around the piston rod 26 and normally bias the piston in the direction of the top cylinder head 36.

As shown in FIG. 2, the piston 16 has a recess 38 formed in the upper lateral surface thereof for a purpose to be set forth more fully hereinafter. Radially spaced from said recess and diametrically opposed to each other are exhaust ports 40 having integral valve seats 42 positioned within said valve seats 42 and adapted to seat therewith are exhaust valves 44 having resilient, non-metallic blocks or springs 46 bonded or secured in the upper surfaces for a purpose to be set forth more fully hereinafter. The valves 4-4 have stems 48 extending through the exhaust ports with spring members 50 concentrically disposed there around and adapted to bias the valves 44 away from the valve seats 42 so that in a non-operating condition or while the engine is at rest the exhaust valves 44 are normally open. The springs 50 are retained in assembly with the stems 48 by lock rings 51 snapped into engagement with the stems 48.

Extending upward from the guide, 32, are positive valve operating stops, 52, adapted to engage the bottom, 54, of the stems, 48, at or near the extreme end of the piston travel to ensure exhaust valve operation. Ports, 56, are cut through the guide, 32, to provide means for the egress of the exhaust steam into the cylinder proper.

reciprocating engine Positioned above the top cylinder head, 36, is a steam admission chamber, 58, having an admission valve, 60, spring biased into engagement with a valve seat, 62, formed in the cylinder head, 36, by means of a spring, 64. The admission valve, 60, has a stem, 66, maintained in alignment with the valve seat, 62, by non-metallic blocks disposed within a guide, 68. The lower surface of the valve, 6 3, has a flat surface adapted for engagement with the spring disposed in the recess, 38, formed in the head of the piston, 16.

Suitable piping, '70, conveys admission steam from the steam generator to the steam chamber, 58, and has a suitable by-pass line, '72, extending to initial metering valve, 74. The by-pass line, 72, is initiated by means of a push-button, 76, to open suitable valves located within the starting chamber to permit the flow of a metered amount of steam to the cylinder through a port, 77, when the admission valve, 60, is closed and is used primarily at the initial starting periods.

The top cylinder head, 36, and admission chamber, 58, are secured to the cylinder by headbolts, 78, and a seal therebetween effected by suitable gaskets, 8i and 82.

The walls, 84, of the piston, 16, and the piston skirt have a series of pressure equalization grooves, 86, formed therein to take the place of piston rings and by creating a turbulence between the piston skirt, 18, and the cylinder side Wall, 14, in the fluid leaking past the piston restricts the flow and reduces fluid leakage and also equalizes the pressure around the periphery of the piston.

The operation of the engine will now be described in view of the above description and the accompanying drawings. The working fluid is admitted to the receiving chamber, 58, through the piping, 70, and since the piston, 16, is biased in the direction of the receiving chamber by the spring, 34, the spring, 69, is positioned Within the recess, 38, but partially extends above the top surface of the piston. When the piston is near top dead center, the spring, 69, engages the bottom surface of the valve, 66, anl it is raised off its seat, 62, overcoming the biasing action of the spring, 64, on the stem, 66, and the pressure of the working fluid on the back surface of the admission valve, 60. Consequently the working fluid is allowed to pass through the valve seat, 62, and start the piston, 16, on its downward movement. As soon as the piston is removed from the contact with the valve, 68, the valve closes due to the action of the spring and cut-off of the admission fluid is accomplished. The fluid such as steam or any suitable thermodynamic fluid having similar properties expands in the cylinder doing work by forcing the piston downward against the action of the spring, 34, and the force of the connecting rod, 26. In the process of doing this work the pressure of this fluid decreases to such a point that the exhaust valves, 48, are able to overcome the decreased pressure on the upper surface by the action of their individual springs, 50, and the exhaust valves open. The fluid is therefore allowed to exhaust through the exhaust ports to the lower part of the cylinder and then to the manifold, 22, from there to atmosphere or to a condenser. After exhausting the fluid from the top of the piston the spring member, 34, and the action of the crank forces the piston to the top of the cylinder for a repeat of the cycle. During the return upward stroke, the exhaust valves, 44, remain open, thus retaining the pressure within the cylinder, 12, at exhaust pressure conditions, thus eliminating the usual back pressure on the piston during the compression stroke.

While there have been described herein what are at present considered to be preferred embodiments of the invention, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that modifications and changes may be made without departing from the essence of the invention. It is therefore to be understood that the exemplary embodiments are illustrative and not restrictive of the invention, the scope of which is defined in the appended claims and that all modifications that come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are intended to be included herein.

What is claimed is:

1. A reciprocating uniflow engine including a cylinder having an exhaust manifold at one end thereof, a piston moveable in said cylinder, normally spring biased away from said manifold, a fluid receiving chamber positioned at the other end of said cylinder, a valve seat concentrically formed in one wall of said receiving chamber providing an opening into said cylinder, a fluid admission valve normally spring biased into engagement with said seat, resilient means extending above said piston adapted for striking engagement with said admission valve, exhaust ports extending through said piston and exhaust valve means carried by said piston and moveable therewith, plungers mounted on said piston adapted to normally bias said exhaust valve means open, whereby at a position of the work stroke said plungers will overcome the fluid pressure on the exhaust valve means and lift the exhaust valve means permitting a free flow, said piston for striking engagement with said admission valve and plunger means carried by said piston normally spring biased into engagement with said exhaust valve means, said exhaust valve means responding to fluid pressure on the piston surface to maintain said valve in a closed position.

2. A reciprocating engine as set forth in claim 1 where said piston has a skirt on which are formed a plurality of longitudinally spaced pressure equalization prooves on the periphery thereof whereby leakage of fluid between the cylinder wall and piston is reduced to a minimum due to turbulence created by the grooves.

3. A reciprocating uniflow steam engine as set forth in claim 1 where said piston and cylinder are formed of a high density graphite whereby friction losses between cooperating surfaces are reduced to a minimum.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,045,956 12/1912 Demmler 91-268 2,120,992 6/1938 Soiden 91-224 2,419,859 4/1941 Tarr et a1. 9l--229 2,649,078 8/1953 Kelly 91-229 2,752,890 7/1956 Rogneby 91-401 3,173,341 3/1965 Carpenter 91-401 FOREIGN PATENTS 889,677 10/ 1943 France.

EDGAR W. GEOGHEGAN, Pl imary Examiner.

PAUL E. MASLOUSKY, Examiner.

US3361036A 1964-02-10 1966-05-05 Steam engine with self-contained valvular mechanism Expired - Lifetime US3361036A (en)

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Cited By (24)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3633459A (en) * 1969-02-18 1972-01-11 Lange Wilfried Pneumatic percussion device
US3633466A (en) * 1970-06-24 1972-01-11 Frank H Field Spring cushioning device for clustered cylinder lifts
US3638529A (en) * 1967-07-26 1972-02-01 Paterson Prod Ltd Apparatus for generating an oscillatory motion
US3823648A (en) * 1973-04-09 1974-07-16 Case Co J I Fluid cylinder unit cushion structure
US3872774A (en) * 1970-11-14 1975-03-25 Daimler Benz Ag Disconnecting valve mechanism for a servo-steering system of vehicles
US3893203A (en) * 1971-12-22 1975-07-08 Hans Berkelius Drive motor for cleaning glass surfaces
US3949644A (en) * 1974-01-11 1976-04-13 Hein-Werner Corporation Pneumatic-hydraulic pumping device
US3983790A (en) * 1975-05-27 1976-10-05 The Bendix Corporation Brake actuator
US4050357A (en) * 1974-06-25 1977-09-27 Carter Sr J Warne Steam admission valve and variable clearance volume steam cylinder
US4149384A (en) * 1974-08-01 1979-04-17 Marshall Don J Fluid pressure amplifier
US4165759A (en) * 1975-10-09 1979-08-28 Iplex Plastic Industries Proprietary Limited Delivering measured quantities of liquid into a fluid
US4168655A (en) * 1968-03-18 1979-09-25 Thermo Electron Corporation Power output control system for vapor engine
US4172411A (en) * 1976-06-09 1979-10-30 Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. Hydraulic hammer
EP0044738A1 (en) * 1980-07-18 1982-01-27 Exxon Research And Engineering Company Apparatus and method for recovering energy from pressurised reactor effluent
DE3111065A1 (en) * 1980-05-12 1982-03-04 Owatonna Tool Co Air-hydraulic pump
US4825752A (en) * 1987-12-14 1989-05-02 Commercial Shearing, Inc. End-of-stroke bypass valve in piston for impact relief in hydraulic tilt and trim cylinder
US4938117A (en) * 1988-03-31 1990-07-03 Johnston Barry W Multicylinder self-starting uniflow engine
WO1990007630A1 (en) * 1989-01-05 1990-07-12 Barry Johnston Multicylinder self-starting uniflow engine
US5055008A (en) * 1990-01-29 1991-10-08 Chemilizer Products, Inc. Proportionating pump for liquid additive metering
US5234322A (en) * 1992-12-24 1993-08-10 Chemilizer Products, Inc. Proportioning pump improvements
US5540136A (en) * 1994-02-23 1996-07-30 Noord; Jan Reciprocating piston motor operating on pressure medium
DE19547187A1 (en) * 1995-12-16 1997-06-19 Schmidt & Co Gmbh Kranz Pneumatic hammer motor with reciprocating piston in cylinder
US6505538B1 (en) 1998-09-14 2003-01-14 Barry Johnston Multicylinder self-starting uniflow engine
WO2011076153A1 (en) * 2009-12-22 2011-06-30 Josef Erychleb Engine

Families Citing this family (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3785248A (en) * 1970-11-23 1974-01-15 E Bailey Rock drill
US4096747A (en) * 1975-10-14 1978-06-27 Gilson Paul R Digital output, positive displacement flow meter
US4458579A (en) * 1981-11-10 1984-07-10 Rasmussen James W Hydraulically driven reciprocating motor
GB2214574A (en) * 1988-01-29 1989-09-06 Metal Box Plc Improved piston engine
GB2230566A (en) * 1989-04-14 1990-10-24 Mb Group Plc Piston engine
US8448440B2 (en) * 2007-03-07 2013-05-28 Thermal Power Recovery Llc Method and apparatus for achieving higher thermal efficiency in a steam engine or steam expander
US9316130B1 (en) 2007-03-07 2016-04-19 Thermal Power Recovery Llc High efficiency steam engine, steam expander and improved valves therefor
US9291056B2 (en) 2010-08-30 2016-03-22 Lawrence Livermore National Security, Llc Harmonic uniflow engine

Citations (7)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US1045956A (en) * 1907-03-21 1912-12-03 Henry L Demmler Bumping-machine.
US2120992A (en) * 1935-08-29 1938-06-21 Elmer J Seiden Pneumatic tool
FR889677A (en) * 1942-04-13 1944-01-17 Regulated distribution engine
US2419859A (en) * 1944-05-16 1947-04-29 Philip R Tarr Apparatus for fluid treating roll film
US2649078A (en) * 1951-04-04 1953-08-18 Edison Inc Thomas A Gas expansion engine
US2752890A (en) * 1955-01-27 1956-07-03 Power Brake Parts Mfg Co Pneumatic actuator with automatic pressure unloading device
US3173341A (en) * 1964-01-29 1965-03-16 Donald E Smiley Reciprocating hydraulic motor

Family Cites Families (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3118348A (en) * 1964-01-21 Fluid pressure actuator apparatus
US2671434A (en) * 1951-04-17 1954-03-09 Edison Inc Thomas A Valve mechanism for gas expansion engines
US2853974A (en) * 1955-10-31 1958-09-30 Westinghouse Air Brake Co Piston cushioning arrangement for cylinders
US3094938A (en) * 1961-06-19 1963-06-25 Aro Corp Pump structure

Patent Citations (7)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US1045956A (en) * 1907-03-21 1912-12-03 Henry L Demmler Bumping-machine.
US2120992A (en) * 1935-08-29 1938-06-21 Elmer J Seiden Pneumatic tool
FR889677A (en) * 1942-04-13 1944-01-17 Regulated distribution engine
US2419859A (en) * 1944-05-16 1947-04-29 Philip R Tarr Apparatus for fluid treating roll film
US2649078A (en) * 1951-04-04 1953-08-18 Edison Inc Thomas A Gas expansion engine
US2752890A (en) * 1955-01-27 1956-07-03 Power Brake Parts Mfg Co Pneumatic actuator with automatic pressure unloading device
US3173341A (en) * 1964-01-29 1965-03-16 Donald E Smiley Reciprocating hydraulic motor

Cited By (26)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3638529A (en) * 1967-07-26 1972-02-01 Paterson Prod Ltd Apparatus for generating an oscillatory motion
US4168655A (en) * 1968-03-18 1979-09-25 Thermo Electron Corporation Power output control system for vapor engine
US3633459A (en) * 1969-02-18 1972-01-11 Lange Wilfried Pneumatic percussion device
US3633466A (en) * 1970-06-24 1972-01-11 Frank H Field Spring cushioning device for clustered cylinder lifts
US3872774A (en) * 1970-11-14 1975-03-25 Daimler Benz Ag Disconnecting valve mechanism for a servo-steering system of vehicles
US3893203A (en) * 1971-12-22 1975-07-08 Hans Berkelius Drive motor for cleaning glass surfaces
US3823648A (en) * 1973-04-09 1974-07-16 Case Co J I Fluid cylinder unit cushion structure
US3949644A (en) * 1974-01-11 1976-04-13 Hein-Werner Corporation Pneumatic-hydraulic pumping device
US4050357A (en) * 1974-06-25 1977-09-27 Carter Sr J Warne Steam admission valve and variable clearance volume steam cylinder
US4149384A (en) * 1974-08-01 1979-04-17 Marshall Don J Fluid pressure amplifier
US3983790A (en) * 1975-05-27 1976-10-05 The Bendix Corporation Brake actuator
US4165759A (en) * 1975-10-09 1979-08-28 Iplex Plastic Industries Proprietary Limited Delivering measured quantities of liquid into a fluid
US4172411A (en) * 1976-06-09 1979-10-30 Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. Hydraulic hammer
DE3111065A1 (en) * 1980-05-12 1982-03-04 Owatonna Tool Co Air-hydraulic pump
EP0044738A1 (en) * 1980-07-18 1982-01-27 Exxon Research And Engineering Company Apparatus and method for recovering energy from pressurised reactor effluent
US4825752A (en) * 1987-12-14 1989-05-02 Commercial Shearing, Inc. End-of-stroke bypass valve in piston for impact relief in hydraulic tilt and trim cylinder
US4938117A (en) * 1988-03-31 1990-07-03 Johnston Barry W Multicylinder self-starting uniflow engine
US4947731A (en) * 1988-03-31 1990-08-14 Barry Johnston Multicyclinder self-starting uniflow engine
WO1990007630A1 (en) * 1989-01-05 1990-07-12 Barry Johnston Multicylinder self-starting uniflow engine
US5055008A (en) * 1990-01-29 1991-10-08 Chemilizer Products, Inc. Proportionating pump for liquid additive metering
US5234322A (en) * 1992-12-24 1993-08-10 Chemilizer Products, Inc. Proportioning pump improvements
US5540136A (en) * 1994-02-23 1996-07-30 Noord; Jan Reciprocating piston motor operating on pressure medium
DE19547187A1 (en) * 1995-12-16 1997-06-19 Schmidt & Co Gmbh Kranz Pneumatic hammer motor with reciprocating piston in cylinder
DE19547187C2 (en) * 1995-12-16 2000-02-03 Schmidt & Co Gmbh Kranz Pneumatically actuated reciprocating engine
US6505538B1 (en) 1998-09-14 2003-01-14 Barry Johnston Multicylinder self-starting uniflow engine
WO2011076153A1 (en) * 2009-12-22 2011-06-30 Josef Erychleb Engine

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date Type
FR1424295A (en) 1966-01-07 grant
DE1426740B2 (en) 1973-03-29 application
DE1426740A1 (en) 1969-04-03 application
US3279326A (en) 1966-10-18 grant
GB1092305A (en) 1967-11-22 application
DE1426740C3 (en) 1974-01-31 grant

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