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Occasionally, when all their other engines are mechanically sound and working well, some model engineers get bored. To overcome this problem, they start new projects. John Hutson, the Society's CME (chief mechanical engineer), and his son Simon did just that and built a portable engine. As often happens, this type of engine is confused with a traction engine. The difference between the two is that a traction engine moves itself along (the early form of a modern day tractor) and a portable engine produces rotary motion via the large fly wheel seen on the right of the engine. They were primarily used to power machinery, particularly in agriculture, and were transported about using the large coupling hook hanging down in the picture above, hence getting their name as 'portable' engines. Although seen here on the Gala 2006 event ticking over, John has built a miniature circular-saw for the engine to power to cut up wood, which is then used to light his engines with!

Copyright Basingstoke & District MES 2006