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New life for a Schwinn Varsity

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New life for a Schwinn Varsity

Old 04-30-22, 10:19 AM
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New life for a Schwinn Varsity

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Old 04-30-22, 10:56 AM
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I'll see your pedal driven prop bike and raise you an ultra-light aircraft engine, with a coaster brake. A friend of mine built it out of an imported Schwinn and I got the chance to ride it. It was interesting to say the least.



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Old 04-30-22, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by markwesti View Post
I did watch that, and sorta had to bite my lip while watching it.
The channel is all about machining metal, so I understand that he launched into the project by machining metal. I think that 5 minutes on google would have provided enough info on the Gossamer Condor or Gossamer Albatross to produce much better results. That's probably not the point of the channel, though??

I've seen the Gossamer Albatross at the Smithsonian. This is human powered aircraft that flew across the English Channel, and solved the problem of the drive train and propeller design.
A couple of photos, for those who aren't familiar...





This aircraft flew in 1979, so it certainly falls within the C&V timeline.

There was a boat traveling with the aircraft, just in case things went bad. I'm not sure how fast the pilot/cyclist could get of that fuselage, though.

Steve in Peoria
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Old 04-30-22, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by nomadmax View Post
I'll see your pedal driven prop bike and raise you an ultra-light aircraft engine, with a coaster brake. A friend of mine built it out of an imported Schwinn and I got the chance to ride it. It was interesting to say the least.


I suppose that all brushes with death are interesting!

I've worked around aircraft enough to be very concerned about being this close to a propeller! All it would take would be a bit of sand in a corner or an unexpected bump to put you and that spinning blade on the ground. Yow!

On the plus side, you'll have fewer tailgaters in busy traffic.

Steve in Peoria
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Old 04-30-22, 05:20 PM
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steelbikeguy Right but check out the dudes stache .
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Old 04-30-22, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by steelbikeguy View Post
I did watch that, and sorta had to bite my lip while watching it.
The channel is all about machining metal, so I understand that he launched into the project by machining metal. I think that 5 minutes on google would have provided enough info on the Gossamer Condor or Gossamer Albatross to produce much better results. That's probably not the point of the channel, though??

I've seen the Gossamer Albatross at the Smithsonian. This is human powered aircraft that flew across the English Channel, and solved the problem of the drive train and propeller design.
A couple of photos, for those who aren't familiar...





This aircraft flew in 1979, so it certainly falls within the C&V timeline.

There was a boat traveling with the aircraft, just in case things went bad. I'm not sure how fast the pilot/cyclist could get of that fuselage, though.

Steve in Peoria
I watched an interesting documentary on this in the late 90s, Nova or something, it was good. They had 3 or 4 elite cyclists sort of sitting alert for the proper weather conditions. One was ready to go every morning and the others did grueling training rides.
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Old 04-30-22, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by markwesti View Post
steelbikeguy Right but check out the dudes stache .
yeah, there's a lot of "I don't care what anyone thinks" in that mustache!

At first I was thinking it was an Evel Knievel mustache, but a quick web search shows that Mr. Knievel was clean shaven.

Even Orville Wright, a guy who knew how to design a propeller and engine, had a respectful mustache...



from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wright_brothers

On the plus side, this fellow has been messing around with ultralight aircraft for a while and hasn't killed himself yet, so he's got some good practical sense.

Steve in Peoria
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Old 05-01-22, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by markwesti View Post
steelbikeguy Right but check out the dudes stache .
looks aerodynamic, in a 19th century sort of way
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Old 05-01-22, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
I watched an interesting documentary on this in the late 90s, Nova or something, it was good. They had 3 or 4 elite cyclists sort of sitting alert for the proper weather conditions. One was ready to go every morning and the others did grueling training rides.
You're thinking of the NOVA episode titled "The Light Stuff", the tale of the MIT Daedalus and its flight from Crete to (almost) Santorini.
NOVA - The Light Stuff - TheTVDB
Pieces of this episode are available on YouTube
Kanellos Kanellopoulos was the pilot/engine for this flight.

Weird connection: the producer for this NOVA episode, Mark J. Davis, is a relative by marriage. His wife is a cousin of my late mother.
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Old 05-02-22, 11:29 AM
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@Markwesti you beat me to it. I saw the video this weekend. I watch Fireball Tools pretty regularly. Yes, he is a metal worker that has been going through old issues of Popular mechanics to replicate interesting projects. I don't think the point was to get a bike to fly, just to see if he could replicate this 1950's design and performance.

Nice Varsity, I hadn't seen one with dropped bars, chrome fenders and the later pie plate chainring protector. It is in excellent shape and I was glad to see that he didn't weld anything directly to the frame. Not that Schwinn Varsity frames are precious, but he didn't anyway and can revert back to chain drive.

By the way, you may want to check out his machine shop, his shop made vise and his Go Kart belt sander.
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Old 05-02-22, 11:38 AM
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Hi Velo Mule , I watch Fireball Tool all the time . Of course this was just a tongue in cheek thing , I thought BFers would get a laugh from it .
Mark .
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