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Technology

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Inventors Jack Bitterly and his son Steve of U.S. Flywheel Systems in Newbury Park, California, want to run internal-combustion engines off the road. They would rip out everything beneath a car¹s hood‹engine, battery, and radiator‹and replace them with about a dozen 50-pound, carbon-fiber flywheels, each spinning 100,000 times per minute. After the Bitterlys were featured in our August 1996 issue, they had to shelve their plans to develop a flywheel-powered prototype car because no auto companies were interested. So they turned to building flywheels to replace chemical batteries on the International Space Station. They expect to see flywheels in satellites by 2002.

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