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Motor

As the still-to-be-announced date of the first commercial flight of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo approaches, more and more of the technology involved is getting nailed down. A case in point is the company's announcement that it has decided which fuel will be used in the first passenger-carrying flights of the suborbital spacecraft. The solid fuel grains that will fuel the world’s largest operational hybrid rocket will be a thermoset plastic similar to nylon. Read More

American inventor Herns Louis has come up with an interesting way to reduce inefficiencies inherent in regular dual-fuel motors. His H-motor design features two cylinder banks, each running on a single fuel source – so the left can be tuned for power and efficiency on gasoline, and the right can be tuned for CNG. Read More

Motor power can make already crazy, awesome adrenaline sports even crazier and … awesomer. Just look at designs like the Gnarboard and Jetboard. Unfortunately, filling a garage with various forms of motorized gear could quickly bankrupt a professional sports star. If an experimental thrusting system from UK-based Dreamscience Propulsion makes it to market, it could save some of those dollars by rolling the fun of several types of motorized boards into one device. The electric propulsion system lends motor-muscle to skiing, surfing, paragliding and beyond. Read More
Stories, whether fact or fiction, are at the heart of human culture. A strong narrative can resonate with your personality and experiences, and help set a framework for your future. "That book changed my life" is a cherished maxim. So can a book change your brain too? A recent study led by Emory University's Gregory Berns has demonstrated that reading a novel produces physical changes in the brain similar to those that would result from living as one or more of the characters. Read More
Urbee 2, the first road-ready, fuel-efficient car built using 3D printing, is the subject of a collaboration between design firm KOR EcoLogic, direct digital manufacturers RedEye On Demand, and 3D-printing manufacturer Stratsys. Their aim is to put the 7 hp (5 kW) three-wheeled, rear-steering eco-hybrid on the roads by 2015, and then demonstrate its capabilities by crossing the US using only ten gallons (38 L) of fuel. Read More
Longboards are a great way to get around for many people, but kicking on the flats can be rather tiring. That's where motorized options like the LaGrange L1 truck come into play. Now, a new option called Kickr offers an electric motor without requiring the user to change trucks. Read More
Over the course of the past several years, German manufacturer ZF Friedrichshafen has introduced 8- and 9-speed transmissions. Vehicle models from the likes of Chrysler and Land Rover have made use of the new hardware, touting fuel economy gains and other advantages. Now, the other two major Detroit auto manufacturers are teaming up to develop 9-speed transmissions of their own, and they're taking it one step further: 10-speed transmissions. Read More
Indian Motorcycles has once again risen from the dustbin of history. Purchased by Polaris Industries in 2011, the 2014 model year involves a complete redesign of the Indian motorcycle line. The most notable new feature is the new Thunder Stroke 111 V-Twin engine. A fresh design from the ground up, the design goals included keeping the classic Indian engine look while implementing a 49 degree V-Twin geometry with modern technology. Read More
Researchers at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) have created a prototype mini motor designed to extend the capabilities of the new breed of small satellite. The motor weighs roughly 200 grams (7 oz) – including the fuel and control electronics - and could be used to change the orbit of small satellites, or even propel them to more far flung destinations that would usually require larger, more expensive spacecraft. Read More
Anyone who appreciates the precision art of engine design ought to get a kick out of this offering from a Spanish engineer named Patelo. Starting with hunks of aluminum, bronze and stainless steel, he spent over 1200 hours designing, milling, turning and drilling what he claims is "probably" the world's smallest V12 engine. Powered by compressed air injection (0.1kg/sq cm), this little marvel boasts a total displacement of 12 cubic centimeters from its twelve 11.3 mm diameter pistons and works like a charm. Best of all, you can see it come together in the detailed video that follows. Read More
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