Windy City Air Lease - Page 6

Flickinger Compressor Engine 

Filling the place of the second 65 hp Blaisdell is a 50 hp Flickinger compressor engine. It was made by the Flickinger Iron Works in Bradford, Pennsylvania, around 1910.  This engine is 15.5 inch bore by 20 inch stroke.  Like the Blaisdell engines, the Flickinger uses a single cylinder to produce power and to compress air.  However, the Flickinger has a single piston for both power production and air compression, with combustion on the side of the piston facing the cylinder head and air compression on the side of the piston facing the flywheels.  The combustion engine features an atmospheric intake valve and a sideshaft-operated exhaust valve.  The air compressor features a Corliss intake valve operated by the sideshaft and poppet discharge valves.  This Flickinger compressed air for a lease of oil wells outside Bradford, Pennsylvania, until the early 1960s.  It arrived at the museum in 1990 and is undergoing restoration. 

Flickinger Patent

In 1907, William W. Flickinger was granted U.S. patent number 863,839 for a "Power Apparatus."  The patent makes reference to an engine that produces power from the crankshaft to drive nearby machinery and also compresses air that may be used to power equipment at nearby or remote locations.  It specifically mentions operating oil field equipment using compressed air.

Flickinger Compressor Advertisement

Putting the patent to work, Flickinger offered compressor engines in a number of sizes, including large machines such as the one in this advertisement.

Air Plant

The engine on display at the museum originally occupied this building, located just west of the city of Bradford, Pennsylvania.

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