Unlike earlier authors, Branca did not claim to be the creator of many of the machines and in one instance is even uncertain over how the machine in question is supposed to work. In the words of historian Alex Keller, his machines "look like armchair inventions which seldom ever had any three-dimensional working counterparts".
Branca's so-called steam engine appears as the 25th plate in Le Machine. It comprises a wheel with flat vanes like a paddlewheel, shown being rotated by steam produced in a closed vessel and directed at the vanes through a pipe. Branca suggested that it might be used for powering pestles and mortars, grinding machines, raising water, and sawing wood. It bears no relation to any later application of steam power and is not considered much of an advance over Hero of Alexandria's aeolipile, though Branca's engine was much more practical than the aeolipile.
Branca communicated with Benedetto Castelli and references his work in the last chapter of the Manuale, a chapter about rivers. Castelli, often considered to be the founder of the field of hydrodynamics, wrote to Branca urging him to defend himself against naïve or interested parties such as the Venetians who had rejected Castelli’s opinions as to why their lagoons were silting. On another occasion, Branca wrote to Castelli regarding a design for a nozzle for an inverted siphon to be installed in a fountain. Castelli also witnessed the ecclesiastical innocence of Le Machine for the inquisition.
Turbine engine history: a look back at the developments that led to today's gas turbine engine.(Turbine Technology)
Apr 01, 2006; Today turbine engines power the majority aircraft. These engines have come to play a significant part in aviation. We will take a...