Someone may have found the perfect use for the rotary.
A Connecticut-based startup called LiquidPiston has just built a 3-horsepower rotary engine that can power a go-kart. The engine weighs only four pounds and has just three moving parts. This little engine can replace a normal go-kart motor which weighs around 40 pounds. That is a huge weight savings on a vehicle which relies on being as light as possible. LiquidPiston says that the engine is in the testing phase and it wants to get the weight down to three pounds and power up to five hp.
Even if the company can't get the horsepower up, this little engine already packs a punch. It can fit in the palm of your hand and could be used in everything from generators to drones. LiquidPiston received a $1 million grant last year to build the X-mini engine, which offers improvement over a traditional Wankel engine. The X-mini engine has military potential and could also be used as a generator that can fit in a backpack. The possibilities for this engine are huge, even if the engine itself is tiny. What would you use a tiny engine for? Personally, we would love to make those ridiculous hoverboards go a little faster.