Labor saving devices are nothing new, but they rarely inspire the kind of dedicated stewardship that antique engines do. This week in Fort Meade, Florida, the 1500 members of the Florida Flywheelers Antique Engine Club opened the gates of their unique 240-acre clubhouse to give the public a first hand look at the fruits of this devotion. If you harbor a secret wish to operate a tractor, bulldozer or backhoe, these are your people.
When an engine fails or becomes very worn, it is usually pulled from the vehicle and scrapped. Ford wants to change that by utilizing a high-tech plasma process to remanufacture broken engines. The process reduces carbon emissions by about half when compared to making a new engine to replace the old one, and results in a like-new engine block.
SpaceX has completed design testing of its SuperDraco engines, which, as a key element of the Crew Dragon's launch abort system (LAS), would be responsible for carrying a crew of astronauts out of harms way in the event of a launch failure.
The latest and most powerful variant of the Rolls-Royce Trent engine has taken to the air for the first time. Billed as the "world’s most efficient civil aircraft engine," the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 replaced one of the four Trent 900 engines on an Airbus A380 flying testbed aircraft during the flight over Toulouse, France.
Kawasaki gave us a potential glimpse of the future of it's supercharged product line-up at the Tokyo Motor Show when President Kenji Tomida showed a sketch of Concept SC 01 (SC stands for “Spirit Charger”), which uses softer lines and more luxurious materials than the hard-edged and spartan styling of the 200 hp Ninja H2 and 300 hp H2R. At the same time, Kawasaki showed a newly-developed version of it's supercharged engine which uses electronically-controlled flaps at the supercharger entrance aimed at increasing efficiency and fuel economy.
American car racing legend Dan Gurney's patented Moment-Cancelling Four-Stroke (MC4S) engine features two counter-rotating crankshafts and an innovative intake system. With it, Gurney is looking to conquer the Holy Grail of internal combustion engines: reliability, efficiency and low emissions, all in a single design targeted at motorcycles, but which could also be used in cars, planes and boats.
Finnish engine manufacturer Wärtsilä must be a fascinating place to visit. The company manufactures some of the most mind-bendingly enormous marine diesel engines in the world, like the record-breaking, 89-foot high, 44-foot long, 110,000 horsepower RTA96-C we wrote about more than 10 years ago. Now, Wärtsilä has another entry in the Guinness Book of Records ... for the world's most efficient 4-stroke diesel engine.
The European Space Agency (ESA) has successfully test fired a 3D printed platinum alloy thruster combustion chamber and nozzle. The world first test is further evidence that the 3D printing approach is a viable one for the aerospace industry, with the potential to cut costs by streamlining production methods and adding a greater level of flexibility in terms of supply and demand construction.
Small, single-engine aircraft are the mainstay of recreational flying, and provide many hours of generally safe enjoyment for hundreds of thousands of enthusiasts worldwide. However, with only one engine on-board, they are also often only a small malfunction away from becoming a heavy, unpowered glider in dire need of somewhere to land. To help improve this situation, researchers at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) and AXTER Aerospace have created an auxiliary electric propulsion unit designed to be installed in conventionally-powered light aircraft to both increase available power and provide extra range in the event of an engine failure.
In the face of ever-tightening emissions regulations, the world's car manufacturers are finding innovative ways to cut fuel consumption. In its quest for greater fuel efficiency, Audi has developed a four-cylinder TFSI engine that makes use of a new combustion method, resulting in what Audi claims is the most efficient two-liter gasoline engine in its class.