S.L. Falcon.

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Mike Rometer
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S.L. Falcon.

Post by Mike Rometer » Sun Aug 12, 2018 9:47 am

On a recent trip to the Norfolk Broads I had the opportunity to visit the Broads Museum in Stalham. There are many exhibits to ponder over but as luck would have it their steam launch Falcon was in steam that day (most days in the holidays, but not every day for the rest of the year). The weather was fine and warm, unlike the previous day when it hammered down without a break, so we had a trip down the river Ant to Barton Broad and back, taking about an hour, and thoroughly enjoyable.
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DSC_0241 (600 x 399).jpg (81.69 KiB) Viewed 403 times
Built in the last ten years of the 19th century she's powered by a Simpson Strickland compound with a VFT that seems to provide more than enough steam to keep her pulling along at a good rate. I can't access the SBA register online ATM so cannot verify any other details, or even if she is registered. She's not in the 2000 printed edition that I have.
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Last edited by Mike Rometer on Sat Sep 01, 2018 9:28 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: S.L. Falcon.

Post by dampfspieler » Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:20 am

Hi Mike,

it is listed - here Page 1117882

Best Dietrich
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Re: S.L. Falcon.

Post by Mike Rometer » Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:43 am

dampfspieler wrote:Hi Mike,

it is listed - here Page 1117882

Best Dietrich
I thought it might be, but when I looked, that part of the website was down for maintenance.

The engine listed says twin crank, quad expansion, The one I saw wasn't, it had only two cylinders (HP & LP). The museum staff also intimated that it was to get a new engine next winter as they'd found some cracks.

Unfortunately my best photo of the engine has some 'code' fault and is unusable.
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Re: S.L. Falcon.

Post by dampfspieler » Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:03 am

Hello Mike,

a CINGDON Compound Steam engine is a bit "tricky". HP and LP-cylinder are inline. Some pics of such engines you can see at ELLIOT BAY STEAMLAUNCHs website.

So it look like an normal compound engine with cylinder insulaton.

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Re: S.L. Falcon.

Post by RGSP » Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:34 am

The volunteers running Falcon think the engine is a twin, but it's supposed to be a twin crank steeple compound, so from the outside it's almost identical to a twin, because there should two pistons on each piston rod, and I'm not sure they're right. The valves are a bit more complex though, and certainly the year before last, Falcon's engine wouldn't reverse, so they carefully ran the boat using forward only. Last year, the engine was clanking very noisily, and in dire need of some heavy maintenance.

The other noteworthy thing about Falcon's power plant is that the boiler runs under forced draught from a small-ish fan driven off the engine. I've been told that before fitting the fan, the boiler could only just about keep up with the engine, but now, as noted above, it produces plenty of steam.
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Re: S.L. Falcon.

Post by dampfspieler » Tue Aug 14, 2018 11:11 am

Hi Mike,

the engine is a KINGDON Compound.

(Sorry, image became corrupted in the Forum upgrade)

In your photo you can see the HP-Cylinder at the Boiler end with oilcup above, among them the MP1-Cylinder (at the same piston rod, working at crank1). The receiver connects MP1 to MP2 (backwards), among them LP.

People that aren`t familiar with that construction call it a simple compound but they are wrong. So they can destroy the engine while they wont to do the best job.

Dietrich
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Re: S.L. Falcon.

Post by Mike Rometer » Tue Aug 14, 2018 4:33 pm

dampfspieler wrote:Hi Mike,

the engine is a KINGDON Compound.

In your photo you can see the HP-Cylinder at the Boiler end with oilcup above, among them the MP1-Cylinder (at the same piston rod, working at crank1). The receiver connects MP1 to MP2 (backwards), among them LP.

People that aren`t familiar with that construction call it a simple compound but they are wrong. So they can destroy the engine while they wont to do the best job.

Dietrich
I have managed to get some sort of a look at (most of) the photo of the plate on the engine and as far as I can tell it reads "Kingdon's Patent. Sole Makers. Simpson Strickland Co. Ltd." then what is probably a serial No. and "Engineers, Dartmouth Devon." So Dietrich is completely correct.

It was certainly clattering well when running fast, and there were some loose mounting bolts from the rear frame to the bed-plate that certainly didn't help. They made no attempt at reverse, turning the boat at the quay by hand and paddle (see first photo).
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Re: S.L. Falcon.

Post by steamboatjack » Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:08 pm

This is a Simpson Strickland quadruple expansion engine size A with cylinders 2.5 + 3.5 + 4.5 + 6 x 3.5. they were patented by George Kingdon who was S.S. manager. This is engine 703 of 1895. They were true quadruple expansion but as the cut off of steam to the cylinders is very late, the effect is probably equal to a compound.
The new engine for Falcon is under construction in my workshop, It is a conventional two cylinder compound.
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Re: S.L. Falcon.

Post by Mike Rometer » Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:51 pm

Thanks Jack, it's good to have as much of the story as possible. The guys at the Museum, that I spoke with, didn't know who was building the new engine.


Edit : - I can't see my second photo in either post where it appeared, can anyone else? I know sometimes these things get lost with software changes.
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Re: S.L. Falcon.

Post by RGSP » Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:21 am

Unless someone knows different, I don't think the age of Falcon is known. She was rescued from an abandoned boat shed on Cobholm Island - one of a row of such sheds in fact, which I can remember from my childhood, but now all cleared away. She's certainly of comparable age to Phil Webster's "Banjo", but whether a bit older or a bit younger I don't think anyone is sure.

It will be good if she gets a new engine: I've been out in her a couple of times, and the clattering from worn bearings was deafening: not a good advert for steam at all.

I'm fairly sure it was the Simpson-Strickland/Kingdon quad steeple compound in her at the time, but I had a young dog with me on both visits (getting early steam experience) and I didn't get a chance to look at the engine closely. Certainly the guys running the boat were quite sure it was just a twin compound, and it wasn't appropriate to argue with them!
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