Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Hot-air plane based on 1816 design

'A drone aircraft powered by a 200-year-old engine design is the latest concept under wraps at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in California, US. The Stirling engine – invented in 1816 by clergyman Robert Stirling – uses temperature difference to activate its gas-filed pistons. The engine is efficient at generating mechanical power, although slow. But the US research lab thinks it could be ideal for use in a solar-powered aircraft that needs to fly throughout the night on stored energy.' More

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