NASA engineers in Ohio were moving forward with an oil-free turbine engine, an advanced research program that replaces ball bearings and oil with foil bearings, air, and coatings. But they've been hit by a double whammy that raises questions about the technology's future. First, much of NASA's funding is being diverted to the Columbia investigation. Second, researchers were developing the technology for use as a jet engine, and arrangements with aircraft manufacturers have disappeared given that industry's gruesome finances. Researchers at the Glenn Research Center in Cleveland now face the daunting task of seeking money from a Congress distracted by Iraq or from another industry that needs a large turbine. The oil-free bearing technology has many potential benefits. Air won't burn like oil, so the turbine can run at up to 650C without cooling. There's no chance that air can leak away or get dirty like oil. Additionally, it doesn't require plumbing or pumps. A 50-passenger jet could save 8% in acquisition and fuel costs.
The rear window on Ford's Lightweight Concept vehicle, based on the Fusion model, is made with a material combination devised by SABIC that saves 35% of the weight. The car's overall weight is 25% lighter than a standard production 2013 Fusion.
Major global metropolitan areas are implementing a vast number of technology, energy, transportation, and Internet projects to make the metropolis a friendlier, greener, safer, and more sustainable place to be.
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