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December 16, 2006

Better rotary engine

Canadian company says it has fine-tuned the design of a Wankel rotary engine and is preparing to reintroduce the technology to a broader market that includes the U.S. military.

Reg Technologies Inc. says that its Radmax direct-charge engine is based on the Wankel rotary design but can deliver up to three times the power with half the weight of a true Wankel engine of the same size. It is also lighter and more fuel efficient than regular combustion engines.

While the company has discussed licensing deals with automakers, including an unidentified electric-car maker that might use the technology for battery recharging, its best customer opportunity may be the U.S. military. Licensee Radian Milparts has built a four-stroke, 42-horsepower diesel engine based on Radmax technology to power unmanned air vehicles. The key to the application is weight: Since the engine is lighter and more fuel-efficient, unmanned aircraft could carry less fuel but fly longer.



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