《经济学人》:怎样建造时速1000英里的汽车
日期:2011-05-10 10:56

(单词翻译:单击)

The land-speed record
地面速度记录

How to build a 1,000mph car
怎样建造时速1000英里的汽车

Hybrid rocketry will be used to drive faster than ever before
混合火箭技术将用于更快地驱动车辆

May 5th 2011 | from the print edition

It looks quick, too
它看起来就快

THIS summer Daniel Jubb will perform the equivalent of lighting the blue touch paper and standing clear. The 27-year-old will undertake the first full test firing of a hybrid rocket which he has designed to help a British team set a new land-speed record by driving at 1,000mph (1,609kph). Mr Jubb’s rocket, however, will also need the assistance of a powerful EJ200 jet engine from a Typhoon fighter aircraft and a Cosworth Formula 1 racing engine if Bloodhound SSC (supersonic car) is to become the fastest thing on wheels.

今年夏天丹尼尔•兆伯要做的事,相当于点燃导火索然后跑开。这个27岁的小伙子将进行一枚混合式火箭发动机的第一次全程试射,他设计这枚火箭发动机用于帮助英国车队创造一个以时速1000英里(1609公里)驱动的地面速度记录。然而,如果“侦探犬”号超音速车要想成为靠轮子跑得最快的东西,那么兆伯的火箭发动机还将需要一个强大的台风战斗机“EJ200”喷气发动机和一个“考斯沃斯”一级方程式赛车发动机的辅助。

Combining a rocket, a jet and a racing-car engine into one vehicle is engineering of an extreme sort, but record-breaking often demands that new problems be solved. Mr Jubb’s task was to build a rocket that could be used safely in a car, but was also controllable and could be switched off quickly in the event of an emergency.

将火箭发动机、喷气式发动机和赛车发动机整合到一部车里,是一种极不寻常的设计,但是破纪录经常需要解决很多新问题。兆伯的工作是建造一枚可以在汽车里安全使用的火箭发动机,但是它也要可控制并且在出现紧急情况时可以快速关掉。

A rocket works by burning fuel with an oxidiser, which provides a source of oxygen for combustion. The hot exhaust gases are then blasted through a nozzle to produce thrust. Rockets using liquid propellants can be shut down reasonably easily by turning off the pumps delivering the fuel and oxidiser, but they tend to be complex and their propellants, such as liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen, difficult and hazardous to handle.

火箭发动机工作通过燃烧带有氧化剂的燃料,氧化剂提供燃烧需要的氧气,排放的热气于是通过一个喷嘴喷出以产生推力。使用液态推进剂的火箭发动机可以通过关闭输送燃料和氧化剂的泵而被相当容易地关掉,但是它们往往很复杂,而且它们的推进剂操作困难且有危险性,比如液态氢和液态氧。

Solid-fuel rockets, in which the fuel and oxidiser are pre-mixed into a stable, solid propellant and then packed inside the case of the rocket, are simpler, lighter and relatively safer. But once a solid-fuel rocket is ignited, it is off like a firework and keeps going until all the fuel is burned up. About the only way to stop it is to blow it apart. In a car, that would not do.

固体燃料火箭发动机的构造更简单、分量更轻,而且相对更安全。在固体燃料火箭发动机里,燃料和氧化剂被预先混合成稳定的液态推进剂,然后被塞满火箭发动机的燃料箱里。但是一旦固体燃料火箭发动机被点燃,它将象二踢脚一样发射出去并一直跑,直到全部燃料烧完为止。是它停止的几乎唯一的方法,就是将它甩掉。而在汽车上,这做不到。

Rubber power
橡胶动力

The hybrid design which Mr Jubb has come up with uses a solid fuel called hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene, a form of synthetic rubber used to make things like aircraft tyres. It is contained within the case of the rocket, into which is pumped a liquid oxidiser called high-test peroxide (HTP), a concentrated form of hydrogen peroxide which is relatively safe to handle. When the HTP comes into contact with a catalyst contained within the rocket, it turns into steam and oxygen. And it does so at a high enough temperature to ignite the solid fuel. This provides the added advantage of not having to build an ignition system into the rocket.

兆伯提出的混合设计使用一种叫做端羟基聚丁二烯的固体燃料。端羟基聚丁二烯是一种合成橡胶,用于制造象飞机轮胎等这样的东西,它被置于火箭发动机的燃料箱里,一种叫做高挥发性过氧化氢(HTP)的液体燃料被吸入燃料箱。高挥发性过氧化氢是过氧化氢的浓缩形态,它操作起来相对安全。当HTP接触到火箭发动机内的催化剂时,就转变成气体和氧气。在足以点燃固体燃料的高温中,HTP就是这样反应的。这一过程有一个另外的好处,就是不必为火箭发动机建造一个点火系统。

If the hybrid rocket needs to be shut down in a hurry all you need do is turn off the pump delivering the oxidiser. That is where the Cosworth engine comes in. Apart from generating auxiliary power for Bloodhound SSC’s electrical and hydraulic systems, it also drives a high-speed pump capable of delivering all 800 litres of HTP in the tank to the rocket in 20 seconds.

如果混合火箭发动机需要立即关掉,那么你需要做的全部事情就是关掉传送氧化剂的泵。那个泵位于接入考斯沃斯发动机处。除了给“侦探犬”号超音速车的电子及液压系统产生辅助动力之外,它还驱动一个能在20秒内将燃料箱里的全部800升的HTP输送给火箭发动机的高速泵。

The rocket gives the car plenty of power, but it is either on or off. To provide some form of throttle to allow acceleration and deceleration, the vehicle’s designers added the EJ200 jet engine. This will be used by Andy Green, a Royal Air Force pilot who will drive the car, to get the vehicle moving. At about 200mph he will start the pump to deliver the HTP into the rocket.

火箭发动机给汽车提供大量的动力,但是操作它只是开或关。为提供某种节流阀以加速或减速,该车的设计者们增加了“EJ200”喷气式发动机。这个发动机将被皇家空军飞行员安迪•格林用以驾驶这辆车。在大约时速200英里时他将启动为火箭发动机传送HTP的泵。

At first there will be a stream of steam coming from the rocket. But then ignition gets going and at full blast the jet and the rocket will each provide about half of the 210,000 newtons (47,000 pounds) of thrust needed to break the record. At about 750mph the car will go through the sound barrier. Wing Commander Green has been there before—and not only in a fighter plane. In 1997 at Black Rock Desert, Nevada, he drove Thrust SSC to become the first person to break the sound barrier in a car and set the existing land-speed record of 763mph. This time the Nevada desert will not be big enough, so the attempt will take place over an even larger expanse of flat ground at Hakskeen Pan in the Northern Cape in South Africa, perhaps next year.

开始时将有一股来自火箭发动机的气流,然后点火装置启动,喷气发动机和火箭发动机将各自全力提供破纪录所需的大约21万牛顿(4.7万磅)的推力的一半。在时速大约759英里时,汽车将穿过音障。皇家空军中校格林以前曾经历过,不仅仅是驾驶战斗机。1997年在内华达州黑岩沙漠,他驾驶“推进”号超音速车成为突破汽车音障的第一人,并创下目前时速763英里的地面速度记录。这一次内华达州的沙漠将不够大了,因此尝试将在南非北海岬省亥克斯金-潘的一块更宽阔的平地进行,可能在明年。

Bloodhound SSC could reach up to 1,050mph. Wing Commander Green then has to slam on the brakes. After turning off the jet and rocket he will deploy an air brake at 800mph, parachutes at 600mph and finally put his foot on a car-type friction brake at 250mph—any faster and the brakes could explode.

“侦探犬”号超音速车能够达到时速1050英里,这时格林中校必须紧急刹车。在关掉喷气发动机和火箭发动机后,在时速800英里时他将使用减速板,在时速600英里时使用降落伞,最后在时速250英里时使用轮胎摩擦制动器——如果再快一点这个制动器可能爆炸。

Then the car is serviced and refuelled to do it all over again. This is because the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile, which keeps the land-speed records, takes as its measure the average of two runs over one mile in opposite directions completed within one hour.

然后这辆车被检修并重新加油以再次测试。这是因为国际汽车联盟把在一小时内完成相对方向的超过一英里的两次行车的平均速度作为测量标准。国际汽车联盟保持着地面速度记录。

The attempt is being organised by Richard Noble, a veteran British record-breaker, and is sponsored by a number of companies. Mr Jubb’s firm, The Falcon Project, was one of the first to step forward—and into the limelight. He usually designs and manufactures secretive military rockets in Britain and the United States. Construction of Bloodhound SSC has begun at an apt location: a borrowed warehouse on the dockside in Bristol next to Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s SS Great Britain, which in 1845 crossed the Atlantic in a record 14 days.

这次尝试正在由经验丰富的英国破纪录者理查德•诺贝尔组织,很多公司提供了赞助。兆伯的公司“猎鹰工程公司”是第一次露面进入人们视线的公司之一。他通常为英国和美国设计并制造秘密军用火箭。“侦探犬”号超音速车的建造已经在一个合适的地点开始:一个在布里斯托尔市的码头前沿的借来的仓库,在伊桑巴德•金德姆•布鲁内尔的“大不列颠”号船之后,“大不列颠”号曾在1845年创造了14天内穿越大西洋的记录。

Unusually for such an enterprise, all the technical details, including computer-aided design files, are available online (bloodhoundssc.com). Mr Noble is involving schools in the project to encourage interest in engineering as a career. So far, more than 4,000 schools are taking part. This was part of a deal with Britain’s defence ministry in order to borrow the EJ200. It is to be hoped, though, that none of the children will try to build one of these cars at home.

对于这样一项计划来说,很不寻常的是,包括计算机辅助设计文件的所有技术细节,都可以在网上得到(bloodhoundssc.com)。诺贝尔正在使很多学校参与这项计划以鼓励将工程学作为一门职业的兴趣。迄今为止,有4000多所学校参与。这是向英国国防部借“EJ200”发动机的协议的一部分。尽管如此,相信不会有一个孩子将尝试在家里建造一个这样的汽车。

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重点单词
  • encouragevt. 鼓励,促进,支持
  • producen. 产品,农作物 vt. 生产,提出,引起,分娩,制片
  • performv. 执行,运转,举行,表演
  • concentratedadj. 全神贯注的,浓缩的 动词concentrate
  • accelerationn. 加速,促进,加速度
  • aptadj. 恰当的,聪明的,易于 ... 的 abbr.
  • liquidadj. 液体的,液态的 n. 液体
  • rationn. 定额,定量,配给 vt. 限量供应
  • barriern. 界线,屏障,栅栏,障碍物
  • equivalentadj. 等价的,相等的 n. 相等物