Image Gallery: Concept Cars The best-known Chrysler Turbine concept car was this bronze coupe. Chrysler lent 50 of them to 203 people between 1963 and 1966 for public test drives. See more concept car pictures. ©2007 Publications International, Ltd. Many remember the Chrysler Turbine Car, the bronze-colored hardtop that looked like a Thunderbird and whined like a banshee. But that copper rocket was just one result of a broad development program that produced a remarkable number of 1950s and 1960s Chrysler Turbine concept cars. The program seemed to promise that turbine power would soon be in your driveway -- as indeed it was for the couple hundred people who drove the 50 Turbine Cars built in a three-year consumer test program. But though Chrysler came closer than anyone to perfecting a practical turbine automobile, events rendered the futuristic powerplant just so much hot air, and its promise went unkept. The gas turbine relates to the jet engine, patented by England's … [Read more...] about 1950s and 1960s Chrysler Turbine Concept Cars
Jet at turbine
Image Gallery: Trucks Shockwave jet-powered truck. See more pictures of trucks. Photo courtesy Shockwave Jet Shows Shockwave, a triple jet-engine truck on a 260-inch (660-cm) wheelbase, holds the Guinness record for jet-truck speed at 376 miles per hour (605 kph). Driving on a runway, Shockwave races airplanes that are flying above it at 300 miles per hour. Shockwave uses three Pratt & Whitney J34-48 engines, also used in the U.S. Navy's T2A Buckeye plane. The engines are arranged in a pyramid formation, tilted at a three-degree angle to help keep the 6,800-pound (3,084 kg) truck on the ground. The engines produce a total of 36,000 horsepower and 19,000 pounds of static thrust. The outlet of the engine is fitted with a special fuel line that carries raw diesel fuel to a ring-like burner inside the outlet. This dumping of raw diesel fuel into the burner creates flames and smoke that make for some very special effects. The front of the truck is the only … [Read more...] about How does a jet truck work?
Will we each have our own jet pack someday? See more jet pictures. Ryan Pierse/Getty Images The future is going to be pretty awesome. Each one of us will have our own personal jet pack. Instead of a long, slow daily commute, we'll zip straight to work at 100 mph, skimming along the tree tops. Family vacations will include jet pack trips to scenic locations unmarred by roads. Workers will use jet packs to complete work in high places, such as inspecting bridge supports or even cleaning skyscraper windows. Wait … weren't we saying this about the future more than 50 years ago? Why has development of the jet pack been so slow? For many, this has been one of life's major disappointments. From the first promising flight tests in the 1940s, jet pack technology has hardly advanced at all. In fact, over the decades, jet packs have simply been unable to overcome some very fundamental problems. But it hasn't been all bad news. Along the way, jet packs have benefitted from … [Read more...] about How Jet Packs Work
It is hard to find a car that more perfectly encapsulates the wildcat spirit of 1950s and ‘60s sports car racing, or just the whole Speed Racer ethos altogether, quite like the Howmet TX. It’s a conventional racing chassis with a turbine engine meant for a military helicopter and taillights off a Ford family car. We at Jalopnik write about the wonderful American Howmet every few years over and over again because every time you see it, the car still seems beyond belief. Here’s how Mattijs Diepraam, one of the best automotive historians on the internet, gave a good short description of the car in his larger general history of the turbine-powered automobile we republished back in 2010: The Howmet TX Continental sports car was conceived concurrently with the STP-Paxton Indy car, but made its debut one year later, as it was campaigned extensively in 1968. The original car, chassis 01, was built up from a McKee Can-Am car, with cars 02 and 03 specifically built for the … [Read more...] about Meet the Turbine-Powered Howmet TX, the Most Speed Racer Car of All Time
Flight Image Gallery Jet engines on the assembly line. See more pictures of flight. Tim Graham/Getty Images When you go to an airport and see the commercial jets there, you can't help but notice the huge engines that power them. Most commercial jets are powered by turbofan engines, and turbofans are one example of a general class of engines called gas turbine engines. You may have never heard of gas turbine engines, but they are used in all kinds of unexpected places. For example, many of the helicopters you see, a lot of smaller power plants and even the M-1 Tank use gas turbines. In this article, we will look at gas turbine engines to see what makes them tick! … [Read more...] about How Gas Turbine Engines Work