The early 1960’s were to some extent a golden age of muscle cars and drag racing. Just about anything and everything was sent down the 1/4 mile in the name of shaving a few more seconds off the time. While most people went for ever more RPMs, compression ratios and supercharging there were people that went for different approach. I’ve seen all sort of weird stuff attached to cars from the sixties, much of it pure hokum, so when somebody posted an ad for the Turbonique drag axle in a Facebook group, I just had to get more of the story. Was this technical hokum or something that was just plain nuts.
Pratt has finally completed it’s geared bypass engine for commercial aircraft. The development for this engine has been going on for a long time. There are reasons for that. Some of it’s FAA red tape. The biggest part though, is the expected long life of the engines themselves.
It’s not like the old days where you did all your development in a backshop. Of course the aircraft aren’t enlarged kites anymore either.
The first stages of a gas turbine after the combuster require bleeding of cool air from the compressor to stand the hot gasses from the combuster melting the blades. This causes engine efficiency losses. Using ceramics will lower the amount of bleeding required and allow greater engine efficiencies. Which save fuel and makes travel cheaper. A win for everybody.
GE builds the world biggest, for power plants: