Exotic ways to start an engine, part 4

Got a flying machine? Need to start the engine(s)? You’ve got choices.

1. With a piece of rope.


The Messerschmitt Me 262 had two jet engines which like its modern equivalents were started using an auxiliary power unit. This one though was a two stroke engine which lived in the nacelle at the front of each engine. Usually this was started electrically but if the flow of electrons let you down you could use a recoil starter, just like a lawn mower. You can see the ring that you had to pull right in the middle. So there you have it. Start your jet fighter with a length of string.

2. By windmilling.

Got a glider? Tired of running out of thermals and not making it home? You need a glider with a range extender, a small two stroke engine which will keep you in the air a while longer. For the sake of low weight, this may not have a starter. Instead you extend it as in the picture and go into a slight dive, hoping that the windmill effect will start your engine. All going well, it will. All going less well, you start the process with insufficient altitude and then concentrate on getting the engine going whilst paying too little attention to the imminent arrival of terra firma.

3. With the aid of two beefy chaps


Don’t trust electrons to start your flying machine? Just engage two people like this and give each their own starting handle. They’ll have you going in a moment, or several.

Share This Story