Chris Spollen
Sheet Metal
An Early Steam Lunar Rocket Ship British 1894” Nicknamed the “The Lunar Space Arrow Steam Ship” Designed by Sir Alex Hempton Bristol England 1894 Designed to fly to the moon and back, a first in Victorian space travel Hempton studied the early work of German flight pioneer Otto Lilienthal (May 23, 1848 August 10, 1896). He transcribed all his early lift charts and flight computations as well as studying his entire glider and wing designs as well as the glider that Lilienthal was eventually killed in. Hempton’s true genius was in the type of fuel he envisioned for thin air space flight. Rather then employing the burning of wood or coal to develop his steam thrust he devised a mixture of alcohol and rubber cement fired in a sealed pressurized chamber. This was a major break thought in development of deep space fuel. Hempton is given full credit for this break through and this mixture in principle is used today in Burt Rutan’s space rocket ship soon to be carrying paying customers up to the edge of space and back. Shown here is a one-sixteenth scaled model of Hemptons second design complete model. Note the gantry that the steam ship is mounted on it is hollow inside with a large spiral staircase going up to the top platform for passengers to board the craft. However despite all the above-mentioned recent data indicates that the Sir Alex Hempton’s lift tables were flawed. His calculations were not quite right given that his power to weight ratio was incorrect. In todays numbers he would have been at about one to twenty four. A modern jet fighter has a power to weight ratio of about one to one. Hemptons engine simply could not have produced the energy required for lift and space flight. Even with his fuel break trough for burning in deep space the technology of eighteen ninety-four could not fulfill this dreamers amazing vision. Hemptons place in history is well deserved as a both a visionary and a true creative spirit simply ahead of his time.
Sketches are now almost completely compulsive as ideas flow through the minds eye must I must jot them down as they appear before they fade or simply disappear
Despite what the Politian’s are saying or doing energy costs in the near to distant future are going to escalate far beyond our control. Recently had the studio and house converted to a high efficiency heating and cooling system to ward off this bleak future. And as a result of this energy efficient conversion I have come into a wealth of recycled materials, (sheet metal) and thanks to the installation technicians and my neighbor Ed Arso, I now know how to cut bend and fasten this strange new material amazing!!!
Its time for America to start making things again the tools still can be found, you just have to look pretty hard. Maybe a little creativity can go a long way and who knows where this could take us.
Need to know which way the wind blows? Try a Rocket Ship Weather Vein. Here is a recent commission well under way; simple tools can make some very nice things.
Knowing which way the winds blows is not just for eye candy when running a fully faired human powered machine along the harbors edge wind direction and wind speed are very important factors. Fifteen miles to eighteen miles an hour is a no go morning, all speeds below is pure bliss.
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Happy July 4TH
Steam Rocket
Drawger and Friends at Hartford University Campus