Posts tagged ‘Vehicle’

January 4, 2019

Penny-farthing

Penny-farthing

The penny-farthing, also known as a ‘high wheel,’ ‘high wheeler,’ and ‘ordinary,’ was the first machine to be called a ‘bicycle.’ It was popular in the 1870s and 1880s, with its large front wheel providing high speeds (owing to it travelling a large distance for every rotation of the legs) and comfort (the large wheel also provides greater shock absorption). Although the trend was short-lived, the penny-farthing became a symbol of the late Victorian era. Its popularity also coincided with the birth of cycling as a sport.

It became obsolete from the late 1880s with the development of modern bicycles, which provided similar speed amplification via chain-driven gear trains and comfort through pneumatic tyres, and were marketed in comparison to penny-farthings as ‘safety bicycles’ due to the reduced danger of falling and the reduced height to fall from.

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April 26, 2016

Go-fast Boat

miami vice

cigarette

A go-fast boat is a small, fast boat designed with a long narrow platform and a planing hull to enable it to reach high speeds. During the era of Prohibition, these boats joined the ranks of ‘rum-runners’ transferring illegal liquor from larger vessels waiting outside territorial waters to the mainland. The high speed of such craft enabled them to avoid interception by the Coast Guard. More recently the term ‘cigarette boat’ has become common.

The present era of cigarette boats, dating from the 1960s, owes much of their design to boats designed for offshore powerboat racing, particularly by designer and builder Donald Aronow. During this period, these boats were used by drug smugglers to transfer drugs across the Caribbean to the United States.

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June 22, 2015

Vimana

Vaimanika Shastra

Vimāna [vi-mah-nuh] is a mythological flying palace or chariot described in Hindu texts and Sanskrit epics. The Pushpaka Vimana of the demon king Ravana is the most quoted example. Vimanas are also found in Jain texts. The word literally means ‘measuring out, traversing.’

Oxford Sanskrit scholar Monier Monier-Williams defined it as ‘a car or a chariot of the gods, any mythical self-moving aerial car (sometimes serving as a seat or throne, sometimes self-moving and carrying its occupant through the air; other descriptions make the Vimana more like a house or palace, and one kind is said to be seven stories high).’ It may denote any car or vehicle, especially a bier (a wheeled altar for transporting coffins), or a ship as well as a palace of an emperor, especially with seven stories.

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October 1, 2013

Moller Skycar

moller

The Moller Skycar is a prototype personal VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) aircraft invented by Paul Moller who has been attempting to develop such vehicles for fifty years (with limited success).

The craft said to be currently under development, the M400, is purported to transport four people. It is described as a car since it is aimed at being a popular means of transport for anyone who can drive, incorporating automated flight controls, with the driver only inputting direction and speed required with a cruising speed of 305 mph.

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September 10, 2013

Rally Fighter

local motors

The Rally Fighter is the first automobile manufactured by Local Motors. The car is designed under a freely distributable Creative Commons license. It was featured in an episode of the American version of the television show ‘Top Gear.’

The Rally Fighter was also featured on the Discovery Channel television show ‘Game Changers’ showing the build process that customers who purchase a Rally Fighter would go through. The Rally Fighter is an automobile built by the customer at a Micro Factory owned and operated by Local Motors.

August 4, 2013

Drift Trikes

big wheel

Drift Trikes are tricycles that have slick rear wheels, normally made from a hard plastic, most often PVC. Proper drift trike wheels can also be created by sliding PVC or polyethylene pipe over deflated pneumatic wheels and then re-inflating them to lock them in place.

They are designed to drift, by intentionally initiating loss of traction to the rear wheels and counter-steering to negotiate corners. They are usually ridden on paved roads with steep downhill gradients, with corners and switchbacks. Smooth roads are preferred to coarse chip sealed roads, as coarse surfaces tend to wear rear wheels faster, create a rougher ride and reduce drifting ability.

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March 25, 2013

Self-balancing Unicycle

ninebot

A number of self-balancing unicycle have been created which are self-balancing only in the forwards-backwards direction, and still need a human being to balance them from side to side.

Aleksander Polutnik’s Enicycle (2006) is probably the first two-axis balancing human-ridable unicycle. In 2009, RYNO Motors of Portland, Oregon created a one-wheeled electric motorcycle called the Micro-Cycle. According to the company, a commercial version is scheduled to go into production in mid 2013.

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March 24, 2013

Monowheel

Dynasphere

A monowheel is a one-wheeled single-track vehicle similar to a unicycle. However, instead of sitting above the wheel, the rider sits either within it or next to it. The wheel is a ring, usually driven by smaller wheels pressing against its inner rim. Most are single-passenger vehicles, though multi-passenger models have been built. Hand-cranked and pedal-powered monowheels were built in the late 19th century; most built in the 20th century have been motorized.

Some modern builders refer to these vehicles as monocycles, though that term is also sometimes used to describe motorized unicycles. Today, monowheels are generally built and used for fun and entertainment purposes, though from the 1860s through to the 1930s, they were proposed for use as serious transportation.

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November 12, 2012

DeltaWing

Don Panoz

The DeltaWing is a racing car designed by Ben Bowlby that debuted at the 2012 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The entry will run under the Project 56 name, composed of Ben Bowlby’s DeltaWing Racing Cars (design), Dan Gurney’s All American Racers (constructor), Duncan Dayton’s Highcroft Racing (racing team) and International Motor Sports Association owner Don Panoz (advisor). Nissan’s NISMO division is also assisting in the development of the car.

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August 22, 2012

Sinclair C5

Clive Sinclair

The Sinclair C5 is a battery electric vehicle invented by British entrepreneur Sir Clive Sinclair in the United Kingdom in 1985. The vehicle is a battery-assisted tricycle steered by a handlebar beneath the driver’s knees. Powered operation is possible making it unnecessary for the driver to pedal.

Its top speed of 15 miles per hour (24 km/h), is the fastest allowed in the UK without a driving licence. It is powered by a 200w or 250W motor. It sold for £399 plus £29 for delivery. It became an object of media and popular ridicule during 1980s Britain and was a commercial disaster, selling only around 17,000 units, although according to Sinclair, it was ‘the best selling electric vehicle’ until 2011 when the Nissan Leaf had sold over 20,000 units.

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August 6, 2012

Curiosity Rover

Mars Science Laboratory

The Curiosity rover is a nuclear-powered exploration vehicle that is part of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission. The MSL spacecraft was launched in late 2011 and successfully landed on Aeolis Palus in Gale Crater in the summer of 2012. The approximately 2 billion-year-old impact crater is hypothesized to have gradually been filled in, first by water-deposited, and then by wind-deposited sediments, possibly until it was completely covered, before wind erosion scoured out the sediments, leaving an isolated 5.5 km (3.4 mile) high mountain, Aeolis Mons, at the center of the 154 km (96 mi) wide crater.

Thus, it is believed that the rover may have the opportunity to study two billion years of Martian history in the sediments exposed in the mountain. Additionally, its landing site should be on or near an alluvial fan, which is hypothesized to be the result of a flow of ground water, either before the deposition of the eroded sediments or else in relatively recent geologic history.

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April 19, 2012

Beatnik Bandit

beatnik bandit

The Beatnik Bandit is a custom car created in 1961 by ‘Big Daddy’ Ed Roth, originally as a project for ‘Rod & Custom magazine’; instead of a steering wheel, it was controlled by a joystick.

A Hot Wheels car was made based on the Beatnik Bandit. The car is a representation of ‘Kustom Kulture,’ a neologism used to describe the oeuvre of those who drove and built custom cars and motorcycles in the US from the 1950s through today.

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