Machine Design

Looking Back: 10-07-2010

10 YEARS AGO — 2000 -- High-tech glasses give wearers remote video: New lightweight Eye-Trek glasses from Olympus America Inc. Industrial Products Group, Melville, N. Y., let wearers remotely watch videos from borescopes, high-speed inspection machines, and other industrial vision systems. The 4-oz glasses use a free-shaped prism for crisp, bright video images with a resolution equaling that of a 52‑in. screen. Images are four times brighter than those from conventional concave mirror optics, so the glasses can be used in brightly lit areas and sunlight. They fit over other eyeglasses and let viewers use peripheral vision to remain aware of their surroundings.

30 YEARS AGO — 1980 -- Full-scale V/STOL model wind-tunnel tested: A full-scale model of a vertical/short takeoff and landing aircraft was tested in simulated flight in NASA’s Ames Research Center wind tunnel. Designed by Grumman Aerospace Corp., it features aircraft engines that are positioned vertically for helicopterlike takeoff and landing and horizontally for level flight. The design could be the forerunner of a new class of aircraft capable of flying from small warships, according to Grumman. The concept may also provide commercial flight to areas where there are no airport runways.

50 YEARS AGO — 1960 -- Lightweight buckets shave turbine weight: Sheet-metal buckets for an advanced turbine fuel pump led to a 50% savings in weight. Low inertia of the rotating assembly also simplified control mechanisms, further reducing weight and costs. General Electric Co. designed the new pump for North America’s B-70 Mach-3 intercontinental bomber. The wheel operates at 1,000°F for up to 1,000 hr without maintenance. Buckets can be pinned, brazed, or welded as required to meet operating conditions. Further development is needed before twisted or tapered buckets can be specified. MD

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