Important technological advances

by Donald Daniel, June 2020

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Two important technological advances have not received the publicity they deserve.

When turboprop aircraft engines first replaced piston engines they were lighter, more reliable and required much less maintenance. But they were much less efficient and had poor "gas mileage". Improvements in axial flow compressor design gradually allowed higher pressure ratios, improving fuel efficiency. The engines in the current version of the C-130 are probably more efficient than piston engines.

Electrolytic capacitors have been the component in all electronic equipment that limited the useful lifetime of the equipment. They have limited service life and limited shelf life. Finally conductive polymer capacitors were developed that can replace electrolytics. The new capacitors have much longer service life and unlimited shelf life. The shelf life advantage is especially important for electronic test equipment which is necessary but only used occasionally for short periods of time.

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