Originally Posted by c3shooter
Just curious- what does the flywheel DO when the vehicle turns a corner? We used to do a gag with a 15 lb milsurp gyro in a briefcase. Straight line movement, no sweat, but going around the corner was a hoot.
That's why the flywheel is gimbaled. If a change in direction occurs the gyro or flywheel in this case will want to precess. Precession is a change in the orientation of the rotation axis of a rotating body. If the flywheel is allowed to rotate freely the gyro will rotate to maintain its original plane and no forces are exerted on the car. The same thing would occur if the car went up or down a hill.
By the way as I recall the MIT guys spun the flywheel up to destruction at about 100000 RPM but it slowly shredded the material inside the vacuum chamber so no problems occurred.
The MIT guys also calculated the overall efficiency from the power plant that made the electricity to the "charging" stations to the drive wheels of the car and compared that to the efficiency of producing gasoline to the wheels of an internal combustion (IC) engine car. As I recall the flywheel was about 15% more efficient. You can't say that for any technology proposed today including the best battery technology solutions or fuel cells;These are all inferior to the IC solution. There must be problem with this scheme I don't know about that because it sure seems like a good idea.