The Ultimate Hot Bulb Engine Quiz

By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Hot bulb engines helped usher in the Industrial Age and served as a missing link of sorts between primitive and modern engines. The machines are quirky, temperamental and irascible. But they're also well-loved by users and collectors, a deserving fate for what has been described as a workhorse for early technology.

Hot bulb engines were first conceived by which English inventor?

The hot bulb engine was first conceived by Herbert Akroyd Stuart. The engine was later produced as the Hornsby Akroyd Patent Oil Engine.

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What other type of engine was in its heyday when hot bulb engines were in their infancy in the late 1800s?

Steam engines were among the most reliable forms of engine technology at the end of the British Victorian Era. However, they were seen as dangerous, difficult to operate and needed constant attention to run with any level of efficiency.

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What type of fuel does a hot bulb engine use to run its best?

Hot bulb engines were legendary for running off anything that could "fit down the fuel pipe," but they ran best with mostly unrefined fuels -- like crude oil.

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Where is the hot bulb on a hot bulb engine located?

The hot bulb, being a part of the combustion process, needed to be close to the cylinder head.

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What other type of engine works like a hot bulb engine but can have more than one cylinder?

This type of engine also used a blow torch to heat the vaporizing tubes, but these were mounted directly above the cylinders in almost the exact spot where the spark plugs would be.

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The hot bulb in the hot bulb engine is also referred to as the ______.

The hot bulb was used to atomize, or vaporize the fuel.

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How much did the flywheel on a small hot bulb engine often weigh?

As hot bulb engines often missed an ignition cycle, the inertia from a large flywheel -- often as heavy as 1,000 pounds (453.6 kilograms) or more -- was to needed to keep the engine cranking until the next power stroke.

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What unique feature did hot bulb tractor engines have relating to the engine itself?

Hot bulb engines can run as easily backward as forward, so they often had a gauge that indicated the direction the engine was running.

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How many batteries does it take to run a hot bulb engine?

Hot bulb engines were known for their reliability at a time before batteries and electronic ignition systems were perfected.

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Why were hot bulb engines allegedly so popular in Scandinavia?

Hot bulb engines use a blow torch to heat the bulb to combustion temperature. That means that they were already warmed when they started and were less affected by the cold temperatures.

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What level of thermal efficiency does the hot bulb engine attain versus a steam engine?

At 12 percent, hot bulb engines were roughly twice as thermally efficient as steam engines, which could only achieve about 6 percent.

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How were hot bulb engines often used, especially in rural areas?

Hot bulb engines came into being about the time electrical generators were coming on line, but mainly, they were used to operate machinery that required steady, continuous power.

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What is the component inside the hot bulb engine that the fuel vaporizes against called?

There are a few names for this, but the shallow bowl and elongated shape was most reminiscent of this morning-cereal-eating tool.

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What is the average in revolutions per minute (rpm) of hot bulb engines versus a diesel engine of the same vintage?

Hot bulb engines, because of timing issues, were best run at one speed and under one load. They worked best at slower speeds -- like 100 rpm versus a diesel engine that would spin at 2,000 rpm.

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What is another term for the hot bulb engine?

Hot bulb engines are often cited as the missing link between engines and a predecessor of the compression ignition engine.

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When was the last hot bulb engine produced?

Hot bulb engines survived long after many people thought they would and saw their way clear until just past the end of World War II.

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Are hot bulb engines considered a two-stroke or four-stroke engine?

Hot bulbs use the same basic layout as almost all other engines and can run in the same fashion. They can be built as either two-stroke or four-stroke engines.

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While hot bulb engines have seen their peak come and then pass, are there plans afoot to use them again?

Since hot bulb engines can use any fuel, are simple to operate, inexpensive and relatively reliable, some regions are still considering their use with locally produced bio-fuels.

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Where can you find hot bulb engines still in use today (outside of collector club meets)?

The engines were perfect for many applications, but especially low-speed marine travel.

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Who were Meitz and Weiss?

The United States had its own manufactured version of the European hot bulb engine: a two-stroke hot bulb engine developed in the United States by two German immigrants, Meitz and Weiss.

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