18 July 2005

New old technology

A rather long, but interesting article (to me, anyway) on changes coming in automotive technology. It appears motorized vehicles may all go the route of the diesel locomotive - a fossil fuel engine, yes, but it drives a generator which takes the electricity produced to turn electrical traction motors at the drive wheels.

In fact, when I was a heavy equipment mechanic in the USAF in the mid-60s thru late 70s, the standard 50 ton crash recovery crane found on most large airbases were LeTourneau Westinghouse units. They were unique vehicles, powered by a large Cummins diesel engine which wasn't hooked to a transmission, but turned a Westinghouse generator which fed electricity to traction motors at the drive wheels - just like a locomotive.

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