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Electric Revolution Sparks Internal Combustion Innovation?

Unique rotary piston internal combustion engine from Simplicity Motor Works

 We're seeing some fabulous advances in electric motor/battery technology as has been recently demonstrated by the Solar Impulse, but viable everyday use of this propulsion for aircraft is still a long way off. But, you could still believe that the days of the internal combustion engine (ICE) are numbered by this exciting promise. Yet, the ability to cover long distances simply by refilling a fuel tank with a liquid that is easily transported and stored is actually pretty fantastic. Compare that to having to recharge batteries, or even worse, the infrastructure nightmare of having to trade your batteries at every stop. Sure, the Solar Impulse is about using solar energy, but realistically, an everyday viable solution for that is way, way off in the future.

 It's the simple beauty of using liquid fuel that makes me think that the ICE will be around for a long time yet. But wouldn't it be nice if we could engineer and ICE that would be much lighter, more powerful, and more fuel efficient?  OK, lets add much cheaper too while we're doing a little dreaming. 

 I was recently tipped off about the interesting engine pictured here. It claims to move way down the turnpike toward fuel-burning utopia with some rather interesting design features. You can learn more and see some animation and video at I'm guessing that it comes with some measure of snake oil or BD-5 hyperbole mixed in, but it really does look interesting. This is exactly the kind of thinking we need to create some real advances in near-term aircraft propulsion.

 I did a little more research and found some other extremely innovative ideas out there that take the ICE to significantly higher levels than ever before. I'll be back before long with a more in depth look at how the recent progress being made in electric motors just might be the catalyst for taking the internal combustion engine to places we never really dreamed possible.

 Exciting stuff to be sure!


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Reader Comments (1)

innoavative engies
cyclone steam
radmax (pump/diesel)
en check the Jumo KM 8

August 28, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterwizz33

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