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Old 04-15-2013, 12:58 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Absolute top non-economy vehicle...

Ran across an interesting article on people reverse-engineering the Saturn V engines: How NASA brought the monstrous F-1 “moon rocket” engine back to life | Ars Technica Interesting quotes:
The power generated by five of these engines was best conceptualized by author David Woods in his book How Apollo Flew to the Moon—"[T]he power output of the Saturn first stage was 60 gigawatts. This happens to be very similar to the peak electricity demand of the United Kingdom."
As with everything else about the F-1, even the gas generator boasts impressive specs. It churns out about 31,000 pounds of thrust (138 kilonewtons), more than an F-16 fighter's engine running at full afterburner, and it was used to drive a turbine that produced 55,000 shaft horsepower. (That's 55,000 horsepower just to run the F-1's fuel and oxidizer pumps...
Or maybe it's just an extreme example of pulse & glide :-)

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Old 04-15-2013, 01:48 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I thought the nasa space shuttle crawler had the top spot in worse fuel economy challenge?
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Old 04-15-2013, 04:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm trying to wrap my mind around 60 gigawatts.
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Old 04-15-2013, 11:35 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I am sure there was a misplaced decimal as well as only an 80% efficiency when converting one source of energy to another.
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Old 04-29-2013, 03:21 AM   #5 (permalink)
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NASA people are simply genius as far the talent for mechanics and electronics is concerned. So doing this must not have been a great deal for them.
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Old 07-02-2013, 10:23 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by mechman600 View Post
I'm trying to wrap my mind around 60 gigawatts.
At full power during launch, a Saturn V generated power equivalent to the peak demand of Britain. All of Britain.

Granted, it took five motors to do that. Still: dang.

Whoops, OP already pointed this tidbit out. Ah well. It bears repeating in my opinion.

Pulse and glide: heh.

Skylab was lofted by a Saturn V and covered approximately 900,000,000 miles during its lifetime. That is, shall we say, one hell of a glide.

Skylab was a modified S-IVb stage, so it launched atop a S-I and S-II for a combined fuel consumption of (guessing wildly with a little reference help) about 2,500,000 kilos.

560km per kilo of fuel is pretty good.

Lead or follow. Either is fine.

Last edited by elhigh; 07-02-2013 at 10:38 AM..
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Old 07-02-2013, 11:25 AM   #7 (permalink)
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starting here: 560km per kilo

Kerosene has about 0.93 times as much energy by weight as gasoline

gas weighs 6 lbs/gallon

energy wise
1kg Kerosene=1/0.93=1.08 kg of gas

1.08kg of gas = 2.38 lb of gas

volume wise
2.38 lb of gas /6 = 0.4 gallons


so 347mi/0.4 gal = 867 MPG FTW!!!

EDIT: fixed missing kg to lb conversion
DOH: the rocket in question uses Kerosene, not hydrogen!

Last edited by P-hack; 07-03-2013 at 02:54 PM..
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Old 07-02-2013, 01:27 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by mechman600 View Post
I'm trying to wrap my mind around 60 gigawatts.
...watch all the "BACK TO THE FUTURE" movies...Doc Emmett Brown has the answer already!
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Old 07-02-2013, 03:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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You probably need to also factor the weight of Skylab into the equation... how many Buicks to a Skylab?
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Old 07-02-2013, 03:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Last edited by mort; 07-03-2013 at 03:15 PM.. Reason: hydrogen => kerosene
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