A few years ago I was reading information about WW2 fighters. Most of what was covered was miles per hour, ceiling limitations (how high they could fly), climb rates and other items that pertained to horsepower. A big boost in horsepower was attained from water injection.
Water injection allowed the timing to be advanced without detonation, also known as pinging. Detonation can destroy an engine but by adding water injection the flame propagation was slowed, the same as is the case with raising octane ratings, and the fuel was burned more completely giving a boost in power through more efficient use of the same amount of fuel.
Having been involved with driving race cars professionally and maintaining them for eleven others through my businesses, I had known about the benefits of water injection and had used a modified version on the cars for drag racing and road racing very successfully. In drag racing the objective is maximum horsepower for a reasonably short duration, but in road racing it's necessary to have maximum horsepower and increased fuel economy, especially for endurance type racing that includes multi-hour races of eight, ten, twelve or more hours. The less pit stops, the further you can go in a given period of time.
The article(s) I was reading were multiple pages long and covered the power increases and the advantages of those increases in great detail. At that time, and not until just recently, very few people were overly interested in fuel economy. One piece I was reading was three pages long and only in the last sentence of the last paragraph was anything mentioned about fuel economy. It said, “and the cruising range was increased by about 30%. "
Cruising range, known to most of us as miles per gallon, has taken on a new and more important role since the price of gas has sky rocketed in the last couple of years. Many people believed it would go back down, but that has proven to be a fallacy and will continue to rise if all indicators are correct.
I resurrected my early prototype in the latter part of the last century, made some changes to the basic design to make it more user friendly and added it to our vehicles. Water injection is too complicated and expensive to warrant installation but water vapor injection, when properly installed, can and does take it's place. Water vapor injection has increased the MPG on all types of vehicles, ours and many others, by increasing efficiency. More efficient combustion increases miles per gallon and horsepower, the best of both worlds. But, if you use the increased efficiency strictly for HP, you won't realize maximum benefits where MPG is concerned. This is one instance where “either, or" is the rule.
More automotive information, including how-to and photos, can be accessed at http://www.mileageman1.com
Larry R. Miller has been a freelance writer since 1982. His main topics are health and fitness, travel, adventure and increasing fuel economy. He is a photographer, inventor, weekly newspaper columnist and international Internet marketer.