engine debuted at PRIME
Dos Pyros, Richard Egge's latest creation, was shown to the public for
the first time at the 1998 P.R.I.M.E. Exhibition in Eugene, Oregon September 25.
This engine, with its unique peripheral cam and twin cylinders, exhibited running
characteristics quite unusual for a "Flame Licker" type engine: namely, it
started easily and ran strong.
Lickers", or Atmospheric engines operate
by creating a low pressure or partial vacuum in the cylinder when the piston is at bottom
dead center (BDC). Atmospheric pressure on the back side of the piston then pushes
the piston towards top dead center (TDC). Unlike virtually every other type of engine, the
power stroke is from bottom to top.
The vacuum is created
by having an open flame positioned in front of the intake port of each cylinder. As the
piston travels down the cylinder on the intake stroke, flame is sucked into the
cylinder. This fills the cylinder with extremely hot air. As the piston nears the end of
its stroke the intake valve closes, sealing the cylinder. The hot air inside cools, heat being absorbed by the cylinder walls. The drop in temperature is
accompanied by a drop in pressure. Atmospheric pressure on the back side of
the piston then pushes the piston back to the top where the cycle is repeated.
is supplied to the wick tubes from an external reservoir through a fitting on the back
side of the base. The base itself has internal passageways (drilled holes) that
route the alcohol to each wick.
would like to say that my peripheral cam is responsible for the easy starting, strong
running characteristics of Dos Pyros. I would like to say that but it
simply isn't true. The engine runs the way it does because it has a power stroke
every 180 degrees, two power strokes per crankshaft revolution. The peripheral cam
allows for the opening and closing of the valves without expending any energy to compress
a spring and that does help the power output of the engine. But it is the two
power strokes per revolution that makes all the difference.
If you've followed the logic of this so far, you know where this is leading.
Development has begun on the world's first four cylinder "Flame Licker", Flame
4. By adding water jackets around the cylinders instead of cooling
fins, the cylinders could be spaced closer together resulting in an engine that is no
wider than Dos Pyros yet having four flames out front. Four power
strokes per revolution! Stay tuned to our "Developments" page for details.
says that I have way too much fun at my job.