Now there is a lot of info to digest. Will re-read a couple of times so I can understand all that has been posted.
Just one point I should have mentioned. I have been playing with the various reel mowers that I have and one commonality between them all is that they really don't like tall grass
THere are some practical ramifications to that observation - have to cut the grass a little more often
NOT A PROBLEM
But seriously, if the grass is say 2 or 3 inches long, the mowers have a difficult time as the longer grass may get caught up in the drive mechanisms. As long as the grass is less than 2 inches in length (that is above the cutter blades), then the mowers will go non-stop, you don't have to back up and push as I remember doing as a youngster.
There will be some engineering challenges I am athinkin. One would be that the attachmet points actually be behind the center of the reel and at an angle (probably 45 degrees) to allow downward pressure on the mowers as you are going along. (Just thought of that!)
Will respond to the other ideas later. Time to go out and play on the potato digger and the 54 blade