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Dave Ware's Gilbert Erector Flying Flywheel

Hi Folks, Doc here. This pictorial features Dave's amazing "Flying Flywheel" model, both his original version and, first up on the page below, his subsequent revised and improved version including video of the model in action. Enjoy!

Dave writes: "Here is my revised flying flywheel. The track which was formally C girders has been replaced with DP angle girders. The result is a more reliable operation due to less joints and more solid construction. The remainder of the model is the same as before."

For lack of a better name, I call this the 'Flying Flywheel'. It doesn't really fly, but it spins rapidly as it goes down an inclined track and has a rather unique action.

The flywheel is made of 4 MH wheels mounted on an axle. Prewar versions were used as they are the heaviest. P17 spoked wheels were added for effect. BH collars on the ends of the axle help to keep it on the track.

The flywheel rolls along the track on the short pieces of the axle which show between the hub of the spoked wheel and the collar on each side of the flywheel. C girders mounded on edge form the tracks. The tracks are attached to and spaced from the framework of the model with M double angles. Both the spoked wheels and the collars required headless sets screws to prevent binding at the attachment points and at the junctions of the C girder sections of the tracks.

The flywheel begins on the upper track. This track slopes down to the right. This causes the flywheel to roll down the track on its axle. It accelerates clockwise very slowly due to its large inertia. Each turn of the flywheel only advances it the circumference of the axle rod along the track! When it reaches the end of the first track it is spinning rapidly. It falls off this track and onto the beginning of a second track slightly below it.. This track slopes downward to the left (in the opposite direction). The flywheel continues spinning clockwise on its axle for about 10 seconds trying to go up the track! Bumpers made from F strips prevent it from going off the edge. After coming to a halt, it seems to pause briefly, and then starts very slowly turning counterclockwise rolling down the second track, slowly picking up speed. This action repeats on each of the four tracks.

At the end of the last track, it falls and rolls into a cage. On the bottom of the cage are 2 F perforated strips mounted on a BY insulated strip. Wires connected to each F strip go to the hoist mechanism. When the flywheel is in the cage, its wheels sit on the F strips and complete the circuit to the hoist. This starts a P58 motor which winds a string on a drum made with 2 Z flanged wheels. This lifts the cage with the flywheel in it until it reaches the top of the model. O pawls on the cage catch on the bottom of the C girders at the beginning of the track and the flywheel tips out of the cage and on to the track, restarting the cycle. With the motor now unpowered, the cage falls by gravity to the bottom, unwinding the string from the drum and spinning the motor backwards. It is then ready to receive the flywheel when it again reaches the end of its ride. The compete cycle lasts about 2 minutes.