1987 - Volume #11, Issue #5, Page #25[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Propsickle Runs Up To 50 MPH On AirYou've never seen anything like the propeller-driven "propsickle" built by a California inventor when a friend challenged him to "do something creative" with a used 12-hp. Kohler engine.
Jim Riordan, San Jose, Calif., says his creation's top speed is 50 mph. Built around the frame of a small Yamaha cycle, the air-driven scooter can carry two passengers. It weighs a total of about 260 lbs. and has a 1¢ gal. fuel tank. The 48-in. airplane-type propeller is belt-driven by a side-by-side pair of V-belts. Each of the rear wheels has independent suspension and drum brakes salvaged from a Honda cycle.
Riordan says the most critical part of the design was figuring out where to position the engine because the cycle had to be balanced when starting out. As it turns out, unlike most cycles which rise up with acceleration, Riordan's air-powered cycle actually goes down as it accelerates.
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