AirToob Lightning

You are looking at an extraordinary new engine, developed by Revetec in Australia, which doubles everything you want (like fuel economy) and halves everything you don't (like weight). It has pistons like a normal engine; what's missing is a conventional crankshaft. Currently it runs on petrol (gas), in future it may also run on diesel and other petrol substitutes.

Click the picture above for one of many articles on this engine, and click the main picture below for a good description of how the engine works.

It might help to know that the fearsome-sounding "trilobate cams" are somewhat triangular shapes with the points rounded and the sides squashed inwards. There are two of these cams rotating in opposite directions, with each piston pushing a bearing that rides down into the "valleys" that open up, and is then pushed up again as the cams come back into line. The shape of the cams can be tweaked to give different performance characteristics.

The "spreading" action (like forcing open a pair of scissors) creates good torque for much more of the piston's descent than is the case for a conventional piston engine, where the descent turns a crank - for details, see here. This difference is the key to this engine's improved performance.

That didn't help? Oh well, click the picture below for a better description.

If you're interested in what impact this is having on the automotive industry, check out these links for what's been published recently (meaning in the year leading up to the time that you're actually reading this).

Thanks to my friend bonbonnie (Bonnie) and to nmaximus for this one!

If you like this sort of thing...

[My "Environment and Technology" page]