Science: Hybrid Vigor

Turbojet engines are fine for fast fighter planes and fast, short-range bombers. But in long-range bombers and commercial airplanes there is much to be said for the dependability and fuel economy of the old-fashioned piston-and-propeller engine.

This week the Air Force released a rather sketchy description of a sort of hybrid of the old & new: Pratt & Whitney's Wasp Major-VDT. Basically, it is the 28-cylinder, 3,500-h.p. Wasp Major used in the Air Force's B50 bombers. Combined with a "variable discharge" turbosupercharger manufactured by General Electric Co., it turns into a new engine...

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