By on December 12, 2009

turbinetruck3

Chopped and Diced has a nice set of turbine pictures, including the big trucks from Ford, GMC, and Chevrolet. The trucks probably made the most sense for a practical turbine application, given their steady power output requirements and low maintenance. But diesels just haven’t been beat when it comes to high thermal efficiency, which tops 50% in the case of the giant ship engines we showed you last week. More turbine trucks and an insane looking home made turbine bike after the jump:

turbinebike

turbinetruck1

turbinetruck2

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18 Comments on “Turbine Trucks And More Turbine Hotness (Now With More Pics)...”


  • avatar
    Dimwit

    Holy crap! I wouldn’t want my legs anywhere near that thing!

  • avatar
    isucorvette

    There is a company that just went public to raise some funds: TTEngines (TTEG.OB)
    From my understanding they are designing a pulse turbine engine for semi-truck applications.  They have videos of it running on their website (http://www.ttengines.com/) and youtube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxT93dlMrd0&fmt=18) but I haven’t seen any video of it actually tested in real world conditions.
    May some day pose a threat to diesel applications but who knows…

  • avatar
    murphysamber

    I’ve been waiting my whole life to hear someone say that…just not here

  • avatar
    paul_y

    Turbines or not, I want insanely-futuristic tractor trailers.
     
    Turbines would help, of course.

    • 0 avatar
      Ingvar

      There’s not enough insanely-futuristic anything these days. What happened to cars that looked like rockets? Streamlined pencil-sharpeners? Houses that looked like flying saucers?

    • 0 avatar
      vantucky cajun

      How about these from Luigi Colani:
      http://www.darkroastedblend.com/2006/12/concept-truck-by-luigi-colani.html

    • 0 avatar
      Ingvar

      Oh, yeah, forgot about him. It’s a pity though, so few of his creations reach production. he’s been onto organic streamlining since the 60’s…

      One thing he made that was quite funny, was a truck design for Mercedes trucks. And the entire windshield was circular, and in the middle, an enormous three-pointed star the size of the windshield was mounted, that functioned as wiper blades.

  • avatar
    rehposolihp

    “after the jump:”
     
     
    These three words are far too common, and all for a single low res image?  I’m disappointed in TTAC.

  • avatar
    kaleun

    wouldn’t they be good as hybrids? I mean they drive a generator and the generator runs the electric motor driving the truck (since you wouldn’t have a suitable transmission for the turbine rpm and turbine efficiency relates to their speed in relation to the gas speed… so running them at less rpm is terrible).  just need batteries to capture the energy when the truck needs less power, and supplying it when the truck is accelerating or climbing.
    Also, how to size, it would be most fuel efficient to size the turbine for cruising speed, but then it would be too weak to accelerate or climb hills. Did they have 2 turbines? Or a diesel motor in addition?
    I like the turbocharger whistling noise of diesel trucks… but how cool would be the turbine noise :-)
     

  • avatar
    Nicodemus

    You’ve neglected the Leyland examples. By far the most significant since they were able to lunch off Rover’s pioneering work in the field.

    http://www.roadtransport.com/blogs/big-lorry-blog/2008/06/one-of-six-built-the.html

    Although the name Leyland is remembered in the BL context, they actually did and still do make some fine trucks and buses. In fact that was the only part of the business that was consistently profitable.

  • avatar
    shaker

    When I worked at US Steel in the 1970’s, part of my job was checking the starter batteries, then starting an International Harvester natural gas-powered backup generator — even though it had a tall exhaust stack that exited the boiler house, the whine it made was ear-splitting as it “spun-up” (and of course, totally cool).
    While doing a Google search for the generator, I came across this:

    http://www.antiquefarm.org/mainsite/museum/turbine_tractor.html

    The “Turbine Revolution” was more widespread than I thought…

    Sorry – I’m an idiot and don’t know how to post url’s with the new editor – something to learn today, I guess… edit – don’t need to enter “url” anymore! :-)
     

  • avatar

    These are wild looking. When were they built?

  • avatar
    UnclePete

    That cab on the Chevy truck looks mean, like it is going to fire missiles out from those nacelles.

  • avatar
    Toad

    These trucks look extremely cool, but trucks are all about making money, not looks.  As the owner of 10 trucks, I can tell you that simplicity, reliability, comfort, and economy are all that really matter.  For example, can you imagine the cost to replace the front windshield on the Ford turbine truck (not to mention the load on the A/C system from all of the sunlight)? Most truck windshields are only $100 -200 installed.  I cannot begin to imagine the cost of turbine repairs, not to mention trying to find parts or qualified mechanics to do the work.

    Simple, proven trucks are popular for the same reasons Honda Accords are.  I have seen trucking companies nearly bankrupted by buying trucks with “new & and improved” components that repeatedly fail, causing the trucking company to lose customers due to missed delivery times and expenses that continue while trucks stay in the repair shop not producing revenue.  These kind of problems have even forced Caterpillar out of the heavy duty truck engine market.

    On a brighter note, for a really cool visionary vehicle from the 1930’s that is not well known take a look at the GM Futureliner  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Yy-0iDHAz8.  Saw an unrestored one sitting in a parking lot north of Chicago 20 ago, should have bought it then!

  • avatar
    ZoomZoom

    I like that Chevy too!  It would be fun to pull that one into a Walmart or a 7-Eleven store!


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