History of the Turbo
The turbo was invented some time in the past and has been continually revised and improved over time.
The turbocharger was originally invented by Swiss engineer Alfred Buchi, whos expertise had been formely in steam driven turbines. In 1905 he applied for a patent for the internal combustion. Applications first appeared in the 1920's in Diesel ships and locomotives.
The original aim behind most aircraft oriented applications was to raise the operational altitude, by creating more air pressure thereby compensating for the lower atmospheric pressure typically present at high altitude.
As early as 1952 a car was in motorsport use with a turbo fitted when Fred Agabashian qualified for pole position at the Indianapolis 500 and achieved a lead at one point in the race of 98 miles!
The first manufacturer to
fit a turbo was in 1962 Oldsmobile F-85 Turbo Jetfire with
the 1978 Mercedes-Benz 300SD being the first turbo charged diesel car. Motorbikes
also benefit from the Turbo application in the 1980s when Yamaha,
Kawasaki and Suzuki wondered how they could make the inline 4 powerplant
more powerful without making it heavier so they bolted on a turbo.
Modern technology has seen the use of ceramic bearings and variable turbing geometry to maximise the power and gain a favourable torque curve. Recently volkswagen have released a turbo charged engine which also has a supercharger fitted so a 1.4 litre engine now produces as much power as a conventionally aspirated engine with twice the power.
We will take an indepth look at turbos and see what the best way of tuning them is.