Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Unmanned VIII.

This is coolbert:

Here is something that was a big surprise to me.

An article in Forbes magazine about the rotary engine. Called the Wankel after the German inventor. An engine that has been around for almost a century. An engine that back in the 1960's was touted as being the wave of the future. An internal combustion engine with a lot of advantages over the conventional four-stroke internal combustion engine as found in almost all gasoline power automobiles.

An engine whose highly touted positive features never became to be realized. Utilized by Mazda for automobiles but NEVER was a popular product. For reasons not entirely clear to me.

The Wankel rotary engine. Is now re-surfacing as being the ideal for a military application. That application being the power plant for unmanned aerial vehicles [UAV] .

Ideal from a number of standpoints:

* Forty parts total in the rotary engine. A conventional internal combustion has on average forty MOVING parts alone!

* Weight to power ratio bests existing engines by 100 %!

* More dependable. ONLY twelve moving parts in the rotary with better gas mileage as well!

It seems that the Wankel rotary engine DOES have inherent advantages with regard to aircraft applications. Advantages, again, to include:

* "very few moving parts, making it more dependable."

* "much better power-to-weight ratio"

* "smaller, thus enabling more efficient engine cowl design.

* "runs with a smoothness more akin to turbine engines . . . reducing airframe vibration and occupant fatigue."

"They are increasingly being found in roles where their compact size and quiet operation is important, notably in drones, or UAVs."

[and is quiet too. I have an airfield just west of where I live. Has a very active flying club and school. They fly the Katana aircraft. Beautifully designed and efficient airplane sporting the Wankel. Katana pass over my house all the time and are almost silent. Amazing.]

The particular rotary engine as shown in the Forbes article is the Radmax. Read about it here.

Got rotary engine stock? If not, go buy! NOW!




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