Propelling Device

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Propelling Device


a device for converting the energy of a natural source or of a mechanical motor to useful work, causing a vehicle to move.

The wheel is the basic form of propelling device in land transportation. The wheel interacts with a road surface (as in automobiles and motorcycles) or with a rail track (as in streetcars and locomotives). The caterpillar drive is used in moving a vehicle across soft ground and in absence of roads (as in tractors, tanks, and snow-going vehicles). The movement of large masses across small distances can be accomplished by step drives (as in an excavator).

The sail is a propelling device for converting wind energy. The energy of ascending air currents is utilized by the soaring planes of a glider or by the flexible canopy of a parachute. Propulsion through air or water and on land is achieved by the use of a propeller (as in airplanes, helicopters, airships, aerosleighs, planing boats, and hovercrafts). Ships are propelled by oars, propellers, and paddle wheels, by rotating-blade propellers, and by water-jet propellers. The reaction jet is used widely in air travel and in space travel.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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