Lear Bus Turbine - (Barber-Nichols)


Lear bus turbine.  This is the turbine wheel made by Barber-Nichols out of Arvada, Colorado for the Lear bus and that later on was used by Jim Crank to make the steam car that went nearly 150 mph out in the desert, being the speed to beat by the British a few years ago.  The wheel is 6” diameter, the bucket blades a ½” long and about 3/8” deep.    Lear Bus Turbine

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Lear Bus Turbine   This wheel turned, we think, 45,000 rpm and developed 300 hp.  To be efficient an impulse-reaction turbine wheel needs to have a tip speed one-half of the velocity of the driving gases.  At 1,000 psi and with a good nozzle steam comes out at 4,000 feet per second, requiring a turbine wheel tip speed of 2,000 feet per second.  For any kind of efficiency an infinitely variable transmission is required.
    Lear Bus Turbine