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The Space Shuttle On Rails

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by Txchnologist staff

On a clear July day in 1966, New York Central Railroad engineer Don Wetzel and his team boarded a specially modified Buddliner railcar. Bolted to the roof above them were two GE J47-19 jet engines. Wetzel throttled the engines up and tore down a length of track from Butler, Indiana, to Stryker, Ohio, at almost 184 mph, piloting the experimental vehicle into the record books as the world’s fastest jet-powered train. Today, the M-497 is still America’s fastest train. A video team recently caught up with Wetzel at his home. Take a look at his story and read more here.

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Faster Than A Speeding Bullet

The Bloodhound SSC project is building a jet- and rocket-powered car capable of reaching 1,050 mph. The vehicle, being designed and built in the United Kingdom, will make its attempt to break the land speed record in the South African desert in 2015.

Its hybrid rocket—using liquid high-test peroxide mixed with solid fuel to pump out more than 13 tons of thrust—makes up the second stage of the run that will bring the vehicle up to top speed. Once there, Bloodhound will cover 4.5 soccer fields per second. Check out the video below.

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generalelectric:

The Lunar Landing Training Vehicle and its predecessor, the Lunar Landing Research Vehicle, were developed by NASA in the early 1960s to prepare astronauts for the first mission to the moon. Built by Bell Aerosystems, the vehicles featured a GE CF-700-2V jet engine that pointed downward to cancel out 5/6th of the vehicle’s weight. Two 2250 Newton hydrogen peroxide lift rockets were also used to help simulate lunar conditions.

Three out of the five that were created crashed during training, with all of the astronauts, including Neil Armstrong in the first crash, ejecting safely. According to Armstrong, the Lunar Module flew better than the test vehicles, but the test vehicles were vital to the success of the moon landing. In his own words, “What the LLTV gave you was not so much the seat-of-the-pants dynamics as the real-world visual. That and the fact that, if you make a mistake, you can’t hit the reset button.”

Read more about the vehicles here. GIFs from NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center / YouTube

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Goliath: World’s Largest Jet Engine Scores GE Aviation’s Largest Deal

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by GE Reports

GE Aviation received the largest order from an airline in its history for the GE9X, the world’s largest jet engine, at the Dubai Air Show on Sunday. A flock of 450 new GE9X engines, whose front fan is 11 feet in diameter, will power a fleet of next-generation Boeing 777X aircraft ordered by Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways.

The total value of the deal, which also includes service agreements, is $26 billion (list price in U.S. dollars). Emirates alone agreed to purchase 300 GE9X engines, valued at $11 billion, making it the largest order from an airline in GE Aviation’s history.

The GE9X engine, which is still in development, builds on the legacy of the GE90, the world’s most powerful jet engine. The new engines will use advanced parts and materials like 3-D printed fuel nozzles, carbon composite fan blades and heat-resistant ceramic matrix composites inside the high-pressure turbine. The new technologies will make the engine lighter, quieter and more fuel efficient. They will also help reduce emissions.

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