Donnerstag, 24. Dezember 2009

Is the gas turbine the engine of the future? 1959

Is the gas turbine the engine of the future? Or is it electric motors, or perhaps jets of air? Here are special reports on these three sources of power, and how they feel behind the wheel.

HOW NEAR ARE GAS-TURBINE passenger cars is a question that pops up regularly. The facts are that turbine-powered cars are a reality today, but the mass application of turbines as a substitute for piston engines for passenger car use may be as little as five years, and as much as 10 years, away,
A second, and probably more important question, is: What are the advantages of the gasoline turbine over the piston engine? There are many:
It is feit that future gas turbines will be able to approximately double the power or torque of a piston engine of the same weight, or put another way, a turbine producing the same horsepower as our present engines would weigh half as much.
Turbines are less selective in fuel requirements and can be made to operate on almost any combustible liquid (unleaded gas, kerosene, jet-engine fuel, or light diesel fuel).
Turbines, because they  have no reciprocating parts such as connecting rods or pistons, are smooth and free of all vibration.
Turbines require only one spark plug or igniter. There is no distributor, no fan belt or many other such items.
Turbines have only about one-fifth as many parts as a piston engine.
Turbines require no cooling water or anti-freeze.
They are more compact in size than an equally powered piston engine.
What are some of the chief problems of turbines that designers must solve before they can be used in passenger cars?