Further turbine thoughts


Ferrari seems to have stretched the engine capacity limiting rule of Formula 1 with the intermittent external combustion energy supply to the cylinders’ intake described in the “The Ferrari 126CK” article on page 1056 of your recent issue. The creation of energy by turning the turbo-charger into, a gas-turbine when the throttle is closed allows some portion of the car’s motive power to be derived from the gas turbine, which is not regulated by the formula.

If a car constructor were to make the combustion in the turbo-charger fulltime, and the resultant high pressure / temperature gas flowing to the cylinders-of sufficient energy by juggling the size of the system components the intake and compression piston strokes could be eliminated. The gas from the turbine would expand in the cylinder with the intake valve open and be expelled on the piston’s return like a simple pump-in-reverse motor. This would allow all of the car’s energy to be generated with little regard to formula without changing the basic engine component descriptions from those of the Ferrari’s 126CK.

Will we see more of these hybrid gasturbine-piston-pump rule benders?

Austin, Texas W. J. WALTHALL, III