John Hastings, Stirling Enthusiast

new 6/13/03


A few years back, chance brought John Hastings to my attention. John has been making model engines for some years, and is particularly enthusiastic about Stirling engines in general and Low Temperature Differential engines in particular. Seeing his models below, I think you will agree with me that he is an LTD expert...

But first, lets take a look at some of his earlier engines

John's Flame Licker, modeled after Jim Senft's "Poppin", Two other views below. Note the adjustable fuel tank. What is not obvious in the photo is a sleeve to regulate the flame size, an ingenious addition.

To the left, a closer look at the flywheels, and above a rear view.

A few weeks back, a package came in the mail. the contents are seen here, in their "transporters". Typical of John's approach to things, he found an unusual application for an everyday kitchen item!


In the photos in the remaining sections, you may access a larger view by clicking on the image.

John's "baby" #1 is a kinematic engine. It starts in under 30 seconds, even on my cold hands!

Another view...

Another view for scale,

And in action. Unfortunately, the flash froze the action, but it was running nicely!

Here's Baby #2, the ringbom, also a sweet runner!

Another view. Note the absence of a sixth hole as a counterbalance for the power piston.

In hand, and in action!

Here it is on its stand. Set it in a sunny window, and away she goes!

At home on Cape Cod, running merrily!

Well, John said I could take it apart to show how it goes together...

A better look at the displacer.

And even closer. The radial clearance between the displacer and the ring is about .050. Pretty precise for foam insulation!

The central pin protrudes from the bottom of the displacer to give .015 clearance between the displacer and the bottom plate to keep the displacer from sticking.

The combination of the cylinder protrusion and the spacing of the Plexiglas disk inside the displacer gives top clearance of .015", too.

And finally, the Kinematic engine running in solar mode! Just set her in the sun, wait a few seconds, give her a spin, and away she goes!

As you can see from the above illustrations, John is not only a creative modeler, but a fine craftsman, too. His engines show that combination of fine design and excellent craftsmanship that sets these engines apart from the usual.


Thanks for sharing them, John!