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Turbine

Aircraft

"World's most efficient aero engine" on its way to first A350 XWB

Last year, the Airbus A350 XWB took to the air for the first time. Eleven months later, Rolls-Royce announces that the first production Trent XWB turbofan engine that powers the plane has left the factory and is on its way to Toulouse, France to be installed in a Qatar Airways A350 XWB. According to Rolls-Royce, Qatar airways has ordered 80 of the aircraft and the “world's most efficient aero engine” engine is the first of 1,600 ordered worldwide by 40 airlines around the world.Read More

Environment

Altaeros set to break world record with 1,000 foot-high floating wind turbine

Winds are stronger and steadier at higher altitudes, that’s why the Buoyant Air Turbine (BAT) from Altaeros is pushing to be the highest wind turbine in history. Already tested to 500 feet off the ground in 45 mph winds, this helium-filled shell with a wind turbine in the middle is soon shooting for a world record 1,000 ft float. Packing down into a shipping container for transport, the BAT is being proposed as a quickly deployable tethered power source for remote areas and emergency zones.Read More

Urban Transport

Twin-turbine street luge to attempt 300 mph record run

Australian Daz Fellows wants to ensure proper nomenclature is used when describing his modified street luge. Sporting twin-turbines with a combined output of 537 lb of thrust, and a custom formed board composed of carbon fiber, Daz has made clear that the conveyance he'll be climbing aboard when he shoots for a world record attempt of 300 mph (482 km/h) next year is a "jet luge." Read More

Electronics

DARPA program develops world's smallest vacuum pumps with big potential

Three DARPA-funded research teams have completed a foundational study of chip-scale vacuum pumps by inventing three very different approaches to removing air from a sample chamber with a volume of one cubic millimeter, which is about one-tenth the volume of a grain of rice. These new technologies will enable many micro-scale devices which require a vacuum or a controlled flow of gas, such as Lab-on-a-Chip sensors, radio frequency MEMS switches and microscopic vacuum tubes.Read More

Environment Feature

Dodgy wind? Why "innovative" turbines are often anything but

Virtually every week there are articles about new and innovative methods for harvesting wind energy. And every week more megawatts of capacity from three-blade horizontal-axis wind turbines (HAWT) becomes operational, despite all of the contenders. Why aren't these innovative new products knocking the iconic HAWT off its perch? Is it possible to tell which are likely to be viable? These eight points are a useful way to assess which technology has potential, and which are likely just hot air.Read More

Aircraft

NASA shows that icing inside turbofan engines kills power

About once a month on average, an incident is reported in which turbofan jet engines flying at high-altitude lose power. The pilots report that there is little if any bad weather that might explain the power loss and although uncommon, this fault is potentially disastrous. The culprit is called ice crystal icing, and NASA scientists are making progress in understanding the problem using a world first test facility that creates an artificial ice cloud similar to that encountered by planes at high altitudes.Read More

Aircraft

Micro jet turbine-powered Jet Vest developers seek a Kickstart

The Bell rocket belt captured the world's imagination when it was featured in the 1965 James Bond movie Thunderball. Now, the folks at Jet Machines Extreme (JME) are designing a modern version not powered by rockets, but by a set of four miniature turbojets. The new Jet Vest is expected to offer free flying times nearly four minutes in duration. Having run short of development money, JME is exploring another modern innovation by reaching out to crowd-funding site Kickstarter for a boost. Read More

Aircraft

Hypergravity helps in development of light, aircraft-grade alloy

In the quest for more efficient commercial aircraft to help reduce fuel consumption, weight reduction without compromising safety is one of the most obvious areas of focus. Researchers at the European Space Agency (ESA) working in the Intermetallic Materials Processing in Relation to Earth and Space Solidification (IMPRESS) Project have used hypergravity to help develop an aircraft-grade alloy they claim is twice as light as the nickel superalloys currently used in conventional jet engines, but boasts equally good properties.Read More

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