World’s smallest working stationary steam engine
Sixty one year old Iqbal Ahmed from India is a class nine drop out but today holds the Guinness World Record for constructing the smallest working stationary steam engine. With steam generated by 10 cc water, this engine can run for about two minutes. There is a separate boiler (45 mm high and 15 mm in diameter) which has to be connected to the steam intake nipple through a 1.5 inch pipe. The boiler is heated with an alcohol burner.
The smallest working stationary steam engine constructed by Iqbal Ahmed has a flywheel measuring just 6.8 mm (0.267 inch) across. The machine stands at 6.8 mm (0.267 inches) high, and is 16.24 mm (0.639 inch) long and weighs 1.72 gm. The tiny engine has a cylindrical body of brass with built in crankshaft bearings, piston, connecting rod and valve mechanism. While the smallest part is the 0.7 mm connecting pin, the largest is the 6.8 mm diameter flywheel. Its total length is 16.24 mm.
Discontinuing studies due to family circumstances Iqbal worked in the lathe machine workshop set up by his father. Inspired in 1975 by a friend from England who sent a book on model making with diagrams Iqbal Ahmed slowly started making models of various steam engines, internal combustion engines which developed into a hobby.