Engine Designed to Burn 20% Less Fuel
GE Aviation unveiled a turboprop engine that is aimed at business and general aviation aircraft. The engine is designed to burn 20% less fuel and produce 10% more power than competing engines in its class. Textron Aviation, which owns the Beechcraft and Cessna brands, has selected the GE engine to power its new single-engine turboprop aircraft. The plane is expected to have a range of more than 1,500 nautical miles and a top speed of more than 280 knots. GE expects to conduct a detailed design review for the engine in 2017 followed by the first full engine test in 2018. It also will be the first GE engine developed, tested and produced in Europe.
Portable Device Plugs Into a Smartphone
Nearly 200 years after its invention, the medical stethoscope may be on the verge of being replaced by a portable device that plugs into a smartphone. With HeartBuds—developed by Dr. David Bello, chief of cardiology at Orlando Health—doctors use a small, portable plastic listening device shaped much like the head of a traditional stethoscope. When a smartphone app is activated, sounds from the hand-held device can be played through the smartphone speaker and images appear on the screen that show rhythmic blips that correspond with each sound. With the technology, healthcare providers can listen to and discuss sounds with patients in real time and record the sounds for future study.
Hexcrete Could Enable 140-Meter-High Wind Turbine Towers
Iowa State University engineers say they have carried out successful fatigue testing of a material called "Hexcrete," which they say could enable 140-meter-high wind turbine towers. The Iowa State team says the tower sections are easily transportable precast columns and panels made from high-strength concrete. The columns and panels are tied together by cables to form hexagon-shaped cells that can be stacked to form towers. The researchers say these towers can capture the faster and steadier winds that prevail at heights 100 meters and higher above the ground.
Earthquake-Resistant Wood Structures Could Rise with New Technique
Researchers from the University of Alabama and Colorado State University are working to develop taller, sturdier wood-framed buildings for use in earthquake-prone areas. The researchers hope to combine two methods of constructing wood buildings to yield a system that could lead to wood-framed structures as high as 12 stories. These structures would be better able to withstand earthquakes than current methods, which typically top out at seven stories. The research team will study how to combine traditional light wood frame construction with the emerging method of cross-laminated timber, an engineered wood panel made by gluing wood in layers at intersecting angles. The method is proving to be strong and able to resist lateral forces that are created during an earthquake.