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Big Al
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I would think that having an all electric car for Le Mans would be huge for advertising. A hybrid no so much. I would think that a 30 second pit stop every hour to swap roll in roll out battery packs would be acceptable and keep them competitive.
I live in a working mans neighborhood. Lots of pickup trucks. Normally the beds of the trucks are empty, until the weekend. Thats when they get used. I have a Ford Ranger and it gets used on weekend for furniture moving , yard materials , etc. I have the only pickup in the family so it gets shared allot. During the week it still gets 28 MPG on the highway. By the way I live in Colorado, not in New York city.
You notice some interesting features about this system 1) The system is for the back axle on a front wheel drive car. As a result the flywheel has it's own clutch and transmission. 2) The control on this system will be independent of the main engine. You could even charge up this system while the main engine is powering you down the road. 3) You could put any kind of engine you want as the main engine, the only connection would be through a computer that would have input and output for both the main engine and the KERS system.
A charging system like this one was used by a company in the 1950's to charge up their flywheel bus. I believe it was tried in Sweden and also they had a system in Zaire. Because flywheel technology was not very advanced, the systems were not in service very long.
A question I have is how much land area would be required to produce the bio-fuel necessary to supply the airline fleet that exists today? I don't see how you will be able to produce this much fuel without impacting the worlds food sources
The closest to this type of engine flying today is on a corporate airplane called a Piaggio P.180 Avanti. The unique design of this airplane has the 850 hp PT6 turbine engines driving a 5 bladed propeller that is mounted behind the engine on the back of the wing. It produces a sort of buzzing sound as it goes by. It is a very different sound, sort of irritating because it's not an airplane sound that your ears are used to. I live under the flight pattern of a regional airport, and I can always tell when one of these planes flies over. I think the reason for the sound is because the airflow off the top and bottom of the wing move at different speeds and the prop blades sort of modulate this airflow producing the distinctive sound.
This is the type of thing that Detroit is so good at. Take an advanced specialized process and turning it into a production line process.