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  • Nitrous oxide engine


    A performance vehicle using a nitrous oxide purging system A nitrous oxide engine is an internal combustion engine in which oxygen for burning the fuel comes from the decomposition of nitrous oxide, N2O, rather than air. The system increases the engine's power output by allowing fuel to be burned at a higher-than-normal rate, because of the higher partial pressure of oxygen injected with the fuel mixture. Nitrous injection systems may be "dry", where the nitrous oxide is injected separately from fuel, or "wet" in which additional fuel is carried into the engine along with the nitrous. Nitrous oxide systems may not be permitted for street or highway use, depending on local regulations. Nitrous oxide use is permitted in certain classes of auto racing. Reliable operation of an engine with nitrous injection requires careful attention to the strength of engine components and to the accuracy of the mixing systems, otherwise destructive detonations or exceeding engineered component maximums may occur. Nitrous oxide injection systems were applied as early as World War II for certain aircraft engines.

  • Liberty ship


    Liberty ships were a class of cargo ship built in the United States during World War II. Though British in conception, the design was adapted by the United States for its simple, low-cost construction. Mass-produced on an unprecedented scale, the Liberty ship came to symbolize U.S. wartime industrial output. The class was developed to meet British orders for transports to replace ships that had been torpedoed by German U-boats. The vessels were purchased both for the U.S. fleet and lend-lease deliveries of war materiel to Britain and the Soviet Union. Eighteen American shipyards built 2,710 Liberty ships between 1941 and 1945, easily the largest number of ships ever produced to a single design. Their production mirrored on a much larger scale the manufacture of the Hog Islander and similar standardized ship types during World War I. The immensity of the effort, the number of ships built, the role of female workers in their construction, and the survival of some far longer than their original five-year design life combine to make them the subject of much continued interest. Only four Liberty ships are preserved, two as operational museum ships.

  • Traction engine


    Burrell 6 nhp general purpose engine, at Great Dorset Steam Fair in 2018. A traction engine is a self-propelled steam engine used to move heavy loads on roads, plough ground or to provide power at a chosen location. The name derives from the Latin tractus, meaning 'drawn', since the prime function of any traction engine is to draw a load behind it. They are sometimes called road locomotives to distinguish them from railway locomotives – that is, steam engines that run on rails. Traction engines tend to be large, robust and powerful, but heavy, slow, and difficult to manoeuvre. Nevertheless, they revolutionized agriculture and road haulage at a time when the only alternative prime mover was the draught horse. They became popular in industrialised countries from around 1850, when the first self-propelled portable steam engines for agricultural use were developed. Production continued well into the early part of the 20th century, when competition from internal combustion engine-powered tractors saw them fall out of favour, although some continued in commercial use in the United Kingdom well into the 1950s and later.

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