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Author Topic: Fowler wheel  (Read 2761 times)

sjoormen

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Fowler wheel
« on: April 12, 2010, 11:24:10 AM »

Hi all
I've been browsing few web sites lately and I found this photo of USS Alarm and I got bit curious about this kind of propelling the ship. Can someone tell me how this works? :D
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6705russell

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Re: Fowler wheel
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2010, 11:58:29 AM »

I think the whole thing rotates and they altered the angle of the blades.....

Russ
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sjoormen

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Re: Fowler wheel
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2010, 12:19:31 PM »

Ah similar like Voith Schneider propulsion , that would work I suppose- but I don't see any levers to change angles of blades or are they hidden in shaft itself.
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oldiron

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Re: Fowler wheel
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2010, 12:30:23 PM »

  If you look at the picture closely, you will see an offset eccentric on the center post at the top of the propeller cage. There is a link from this to the blade on the aft position. As the center shaft turns this offset will move the blade into the correct position similar to a Voith.

John
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tonyH

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Re: Fowler wheel
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2010, 12:36:04 PM »

I tried a mock up of the system a few months ago and it appears that the top of the paddles is held by two star wheels, not just one, just as Oldiron noted. One of the prongs of the star wheel pivots in the balance points of the paddle (same as the bottom one) i.e. where the holes in the paddles are, while the second top wheel runs eccentrically on a cam on the drive shaft., the ends of the star being pivoted behind the pivot point of the paddle. I know that it's as clear as mud but it's a lot simpler to make than to describe!

I also know that they scrapped the whole idea because it was too slow and clumsy anyway!

The other 'fun' thing about the Alarm was the spar torpedos (1in the bow and 2 more at about 30 degrees off the bow) were stored in tubes and projected into 'attack' mode by steam.

Tony
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Martin [Admin]

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Re: Fowler wheel
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2010, 01:10:09 PM »

"To provide superior speed and manoeuvrability she had received a “Fowler Wheel”, an early cycloidal propulsion system, shaped like a four-bladed, horizontal paddle wheel. By altering the angle of attack of the blades as the wheel spun around, the pilot could change the direction of the ship instantly without using a rudder. During trials it became apparent that the Fowler wheel delivered only on the latter criterion: The Alarm spun like a top, but she was dead slow. To add to the embarrassment it was soon discovered that the engines had worked themselves loose from their bed-plates, necessitating extensive repairs to the brand-new ship. For the next four years the Alarm carried out a number of experiments at the Washington and New York Navy Yards, but mostly she lay idle. Overall the experiment was seen as a costly failure. Public opinion chided an overzealous Navy and Congress for spending freely on newfangled inventions and unproven technology. "

http://www.waldenfont.com/papermodels/productpage.asp?productid=12

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sjoormen

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Re: Fowler wheel
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2010, 01:28:22 PM »

Thanks for fast replies, now I understand, I noticed that replaced Fowler wheel with Mallory Steering Screw  -now I have to figure what is that all about.  ok2
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