Ground propulsion

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Ground propulsion is any mechanism for propelling solid bodies along the ground, usually for the purposes of transportation. The propulsion system often consists of a combination of an engine or motor, a gearbox and wheel and axles in standard applications.

The primary and most natural type of propulsion is the use of muscle power. Vehicles drawn by an animal have nearly disappeared nowadays. There are some communities left, where one can make a living solely relying on the techniques employing muscle energy in a very efficient form like bicycles, wheelchairs etc.. But civilisation employs other types of methods to transport bodies with higher velocities, in the last two centuries up into the 1970s mostly steam engines. Now the main focus is on

or combinations of those. Turbines are rarely used because of the small part load efficiency, although land speed record cars do use them.

Also other types with external combustion like the Stirling engine or without combustion like the fuel cell are only used in planes.

It is different in transmission that has a manual or automatic.