1 of 2
1
Mazda Kills The Wankel Like The Wankel Killed Internal Combustion
Posted: 05 July 2012 07:52 AM   [ Ignore ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3028
Joined  2010-04-26

No wait.  Mazda actually did kill it.

Link

One more dead technology for the heap.  And as we all know, “Science cannot proceed without heaps!”

 Signature 

“In the end nature is horrific and teaches us nothing.” -Mutual of Omicron

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 July 2012 07:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2384
Joined  2007-07-05

So why were turbines banned from the Indy 500 after a turbine car almost won in 1968?

We have turbines in planes to this day.  Even if turbines do not make sense in stop and go driving why ban them from an auto race?

psik

 Signature 

Fiziks is Fundamental

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 July 2012 08:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4746
Joined  2007-10-05

Because 33 V-8 engines at full throttle give a much deeper visceral response than whiny turbine engines. It’s all about the spectacle.

 Signature 

“In the beginning, God created the universe. This has made many people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.”
Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 July 2012 08:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1191
Joined  2011-08-01

Kinda sad. Made me think of this old commercial from the 70’s.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHzeGEHWMjo

 Signature 

Free in Kentucky
—Humanist
“I am patient with stupidity but not with those who are proud of it.”—Edith Sitwell

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 July 2012 08:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4746
Joined  2007-10-05

Unfortunately that commercial was the best thing about Mazda’s rotary engines. My wife and I ad a 1980 RX7. It was great fun to drive, but the engine was completely worn out at 120,000 miles. Even before then it was going through one quart of oil every 1500 miles and getting about 15 mpg.

 Signature 

“In the beginning, God created the universe. This has made many people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.”
Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 July 2012 08:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1191
Joined  2011-08-01
DarronS - 05 July 2012 08:32 AM

Unfortunately that commercial was the best thing about Mazda’s rotary engines. My wife and I ad a 1980 RX7. It was great fun to drive, but the engine was completely worn out at 120,000 miles. Even before then it was going through one quart of oil every 1500 miles and getting about 15 mpg.

They sure were sexy, though. I wanted one bad, back in the day.

 Signature 

Free in Kentucky
—Humanist
“I am patient with stupidity but not with those who are proud of it.”—Edith Sitwell

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 July 2012 08:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4746
Joined  2007-10-05

The RX7 styling was an unabashed ripoff of the Ferrari Daytona, which is a good thing IMO. The car was a blast to drive, partly because if that smooth rotary engine. But by 90,000 miles it was way down on power, which took a lot of the fun out of uphill twisty sections. Overall, though, we’re glad we owned it.

 Signature 

“In the beginning, God created the universe. This has made many people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.”
Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 July 2012 10:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
Jr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  90
Joined  2012-04-24

Just because Mazda doesn’t want to make Wankel engines anymore doesn’t mean the entire design is now defunct.  They didn’t have a monopoly on production of the design.

 Signature 

Dum ratio nos ducet, valebimus et multa bene geremus.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 July 2012 10:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1191
Joined  2011-08-01
Austin Harper - 05 July 2012 10:18 AM

Just because Mazda doesn’t want to make Wankel engines anymore doesn’t mean the entire design is now defunct.  They didn’t have a monopoly on production of the design.

No, they only licensed it, along with a few others. But according to the article no one else came close to ever using it in a production vehicle, and from the sound of it, it is unlikely ever to happen. Of course, there could always be an engineering breakthrough.

 Signature 

Free in Kentucky
—Humanist
“I am patient with stupidity but not with those who are proud of it.”—Edith Sitwell

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 July 2012 11:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
Jr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  90
Joined  2012-04-24

Maybe in the automotive industry, but Wankel engines have been used with some success in aviation where weight is a primary concern.

 Signature 

Dum ratio nos ducet, valebimus et multa bene geremus.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 July 2012 11:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1191
Joined  2011-08-01

That’s what I meant, in automobiles.

 Signature 

Free in Kentucky
—Humanist
“I am patient with stupidity but not with those who are proud of it.”—Edith Sitwell

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 July 2012 11:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  423
Joined  2012-02-02

The only reason Mazda continued with the wankel for so long was because the president of Mazda was a pupil of Wankel.  GM nearly put one into production, but canceled the project at the last minute because they just couldn’t get the emissions and fuel economy anywhere near what they needed to be.

This put their partner in the project, AMC, into a bind, because that was supposed to power their new car, the Pacer.  AMC couldn’t afford to do a total redesign, so they made the Pacer wider to accommodate their current engines.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 July 2012 11:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1191
Joined  2011-08-01

So that’s how the Pacer came to resemble a grounded version of George Jetson’s flying car!

 Signature 

Free in Kentucky
—Humanist
“I am patient with stupidity but not with those who are proud of it.”—Edith Sitwell

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 July 2012 02:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  423
Joined  2012-02-02

Funny you should say that.  The designer of the Pacer, Dick Teage, was on an airliner when he sketched out the design for the Pacer on an airsickness bag.  If you look at the headlights on a Pacer and the passenger windows on a jet, you’ll see they’re almost identical in appearance.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 July 2012 04:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4056
Joined  2010-08-15
Coldheart Tucker - 05 July 2012 02:00 PM

Funny you should say that.  The designer of the Pacer, Dick Teage, was on an airliner when he sketched out the design for the Pacer on an airsickness bag.  If you look at the headlights on a Pacer and the passenger windows on a jet, you’ll see they’re almost identical in appearance.

Good thing he didn’t get motion sickness.


250px-1975_AMC_Pacer_base_model_frontleftside.jpg
if you… they, say so

 Signature 

How many times do lies need to be exposed
before we have permission to trash them?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 July 2012 04:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4056
Joined  2010-08-15
Austin Harper - 05 July 2012 10:18 AM

Just because Mazda doesn’t want to make Wankel engines anymore doesn’t mean the entire design is now defunct.  They didn’t have a monopoly on production of the design.

I’m confused again.  I didn’t appreciate some of the technical problems with the engine:

But most companies found that manufacturing rotary engines that would run for more than a few hours an insurmountable task. The apex seals, the part at each tip of the triangular rotor, are an engineering nightmare. The seals are prone to wearing out and to developing vibrations that cause them to gouge the inside of the engine.  They can even break off entirely, wrecking the engine. The oil seals on the rotors have also proved challenging to perfect.

Now that sounds like some serious problems.

But, you’re saying they are being used in aviation? http://www.rotaryeng.net/
How did they overcome those problems?

And why would an engine inefficient or unreliable for a car on four wheels, be good for a plane hanging by two wings?

I am a simple person indeed.

 Signature 

How many times do lies need to be exposed
before we have permission to trash them?

Profile
 
 
   
1 of 2
1