Tagged With engines


We owe this unit of engine power measurement to Scottish engineer James Watt. In the early 1780s, after making a vastly superior steam engine to the then classic Newcomen steam engine, Watt was looking for a way to market his invention, advertising the fact that his engine used about 75 per cent less fuel than a similarly powered Newcomen, among many other improvements.


Today's shot of the day is from GE's engine testing site in Winnipeg, Canada, where new engines endure trial by ice -- a simulated winter gale that batters them with 1270kg of cold air per second and thousands of gallons of freezing water, all at minus eight degrees fahrenheit.


Unlike commercial airliners, modern military aircraft are subjected to ever-changing flying conditions -- from high-thrust takeoffs to flying at altitude to combat manoeuvres. So why are they outfitted with engines that perform optimally in only one of those flight envelopes? For the next iteration of the F-35 Lightning II, Pratt and Whitney is developing an engine that performs at its best no matter what's required of it.


The FIA’s decided to get with the program of fuel efficiency and is forcing every F1 team to swap their beastly and incredibly-high-revving 2.4L V8s for smaller 1.6L V6s with turbos. On the face of it, that’s better for our normal-car tech development, but what it means is they’re going to end up sounding a bit crap. Like vacuum-cleaner whiny. Rubbish.


Boeing's 787 Dreamliner and Airbus' A380 are both competing to replace an ageing fleet of 747s that have served passengers for more than 40 years. But what's to be done with all those jumbo jets once they're been replaced? MotoArt has the answer, at least when it comes to the 747's gigantic engines: a stylish conference table that looks suitable for a meeting of the world's most evil supervillains.


The Wright Flyer took off in 1903 powered by a measly 12hp straight-four. Little did Orville and Wilbur know that just 110 years later their pokey engines would eventually lead to a power plant with more horsepower than The Titanic and Shepard's Mercury-Redstone 3 -- combined.


Even though today's largest aeroplane engines are capable of producing more than 45,000kg of thrust, they are still susceptible to ice build-up in the sub-zero temperatures at cruising altitude. To ensure the next generation of mega-engines can withstand the worst that Old Man Winter can throw at them, GE has set up a testing centre in the coldest, most inhospitable frozen environment this side of Hoth -- Winnipeg, Canada.


Every one of the modern US Navy's 129 ships, and its entire fleet of aircraft, relies on gas turbines for either basic propulsion or to generate electricity for their critical systems -- typically both. But as fuel costs continue to rise, these turbines now burn through nearly $US2 billion of fuel annually.

That's why the US Naval Research Lab is developing a revolutionary new type of engine that could reduce our armada's energy consumption by as much as 25 per cent (and save $US400 million a year) even as the navy transitions to "all electric" propulsion systems.