Rover Gas Turbine Car Jet 1 1950
Jet 1 was one of the world’s first gas turbine powered motor car. It was made by Rover, the car company which had been intended as the main producer of the new Whittle aircraft jet engine in the second World War. Work on a small gas turbine suitable for powering a motor car began in 1946, and the finished vehicle was unveiled to th epublic in 1950. In 1952 the Jet 1 was fitted with an uprated engine and achieved a world speed record (for gas turbine car) of 152 mph (244 km/h).
When Jet 1 was launched, the gas turbine ‘jet’ engine was seen as a symbol of modernity and of British technical prowes. Many viewed it as th epower source of the future, but test driving showed that its poor fuel consumption and slowness to respond to the throttle made it unsuitable for road transport. Rover continued to develop gas turbine car designs untill 1965, and work was subsequently carried out on gas turbine powered trucks ? Many other companies also started to explore gas turbine powered cars, trucks an drailway locomotives.
For all these small scale applications the gas turbine has proved, up to now, too costly to manufacture, and the problems of control and fuel economy still exist. However, higher power gas turbine are very successful in aircraft, shios, and for generating electrical power.
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