Electric Propulsion for Big Birds

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Graham Warwick reports in the August 25 Aviation Week that NASA is investigating the creation of megawatt-scale electric propulsion systems for airliners.  These would be much more powerful than those in cars or even semi-trucks, and far lighter than equivalent units in ships. NASA’s research involves partnering with the University of Illinois, Ohio State University, General Electric, and Boeing.  NASA Glenn Research Center is working on its own self-cooled, superconducting wound field synchronous motor as part of the overall effort. NASA’s focus, according to the article, “is on electric machines that can be used as generators (sources) and motors (loads) and power electronics that convert AC to DC (rectifiers) and DC to AC (inverters).”  Research includes wiring systems that can distribute …

Hotter Jet Engines Could Lead to Greener Flight

Dean Sigler Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Nano twins are not something Robin Williams’ Mork would make friends with.  They are destructive pairings inside alloys, and getting rid of them will apparently lead to cleaner jet flight.  Ohio State University researchers devised a technique they call “Phase Transformation Strengthening” which leads to stronger alloys and less deformation of the final products. This is good news for jet engine and turbine designers, since an engine that can run hotter will burn its fuel more completely, resulting in a less toxic exhaust.  Nano twins “are microscopic defects that grow inside alloys and weaken them,” according to Ohio State University researchers.  These defects weaken and deform an alloy when it is exposed to heat and pressure – two things present …

Buckeyes, Venturi VBB-3 Set Records on the Salt Flats

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Take a venturesome electric car developer like Venturi, a Monaco-based firm, and put them together with an enthusiastic group of Ohio State University engineering students.  Exciting things happen. The Buckeyes have tried their hands at racing in many venues.  Their first outing in the 2013 Isle of Man Tourist Trophy Zero gained them a third place finish – followed by another third place outing in 2014, and their tour of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb this year took a mere 11 minutes and 16 seconds, good enough for third place.  They also race in the Formula SAE competition, putting their open-wheel, high-performance cars up against those from 110 other colleges and universities. Turning their eyes from the curves of …

Buckeye Electric Racing Teams Push Several Envelopes

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Despite weather conditions that made hoped-for speeds impossible, the Ohio State University Venturi Buckeye Bullet team set a so-far unofficial one-mile record of 240.320 mile per hour (386.757 kilometers per hour) in their Venturi VBB-3 streamliner.  The aptly named Bullet suffered damage from the rough track because of recent rains on the 12-mile stretch.  Normally, the Bonneville Salt Flats are smooth enough to allow re-use of the vehicle. The Columbus Dispatch reported on the home team.  “’We went faster than we have ever gone with this vehicle, but it was a very difficult week on a very bumpy track and we have done some damage to the vehicle from extreme vibrations,’ said David Cooke, a mechanical engineering graduate student at …

Buckeyes Bullet to Record

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants 0 Comments

Engineering and design students with Ohio State University’s Center for Automotive Research heated the Bonneville Salt Flats August 23, 2010 with a speed record for electric vehicles on the famed white wasteland – 307.66 miles per hour for the average of two one-mile runs.  The Buckeye Bullet BBV2.5 flew through the flying mile at 320 mph under the experienced hand of Roger Schroer, a professional race driver who has worked with the University team for the last six years.  The Buckeyes await certification of their record by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile, the worldwide motor sports governing body. The team comprises graduate and undergraduate students in multiple engineering disciplines.  Center Director Giorgio Rizzoni acts as team advisor, undergraduate David Cooke is …