What About a Spaceship-Submarine?

By Kate


George Jetson flies a family car.  Every morning he dispatches his family to their various destinations, and once at work, George neatly folds the family transport vehicle into a briefcase.

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Is this where our transportation innovations are taking us?

You may have heard of the car that flies, Terafugia.

Or what about the car that scuba dives, sQuba.

And just the other day someone sent me an article about a dune-buggy/paraglider called SkyCar.

I wanna know.  Is this just marketing buzz, or do these examples represent real, viable transportation solutions?

Ooops!  I forgot Richard Branson’s Necker Nymph!

On paper these eclectic transport concepts look legit.  So legit that right now you can, for example, put down a refundable deposit for SkyCar (delivery promised end of 2010).

So I’m calling all aviators, divers, gliders, drivers and engineers, and hey, why not Richard Branson, to help me understand:

A)    Are these George Jetsony concepts safe?
B)    Will regular folks (not just James Bond fanatics) really buy and use them?
C)    What’s next in the world of unexpected transportation solutions?



CATIA Fans May Like This

By Kate

Whether you run on Mac or Windows, if you like CATIA, 3D CAD softwares or 3D design in general, you may enjoy downloading the new CATIA screensaver.

I downloaded it and am enjoying seeing the beautiful 3D designs rotate on my screen.  Plus it’s a different way to access the Dassault Systèmes RSS news feed.

Here’s a video glimpse as to what you’ll get.  You’ll see an assortment of design objects from the inside and out.

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Simply follow the link, select Mac or Windows, and then enter your email address and prove you’re not a bot.  Happy downloading!



Composites of Sailing Innovation

By Tom

Is it a bird . . . a plane . . . or . . . ?  No! It’s a World Speed Sailing Yacht!

I studied Aerospace Engineering at university and so as you’d imagine I have a keen interest in all things aerospace. When Tim Clarke from Verney Yachts first showed me his new design, my gut reaction was, “this is one strange looking plane!” This was very quickly followed by a moment of confusion and then a moment of realisation.

Tim and his team at Verney Yachts have set themselves the challenge of breaking the world outright sailing speed record using the Yacht they are designing, the V39 – Albatross:

V-39 Albatross Wing Sails

To break the record they aim to travel at 60-65 knots (Approx. 71-76 miles per hour). Also the operation of the sail is a little different than normal. To tack, the wing-sail rotates by 90 degrees around a hinge on the hull of the boat. Even Tim has acknowledged the challenge: “the concept design phase has thrown up a really challenging and interesting set of requirements for the wing-sail structure.”

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Verney have been using SIMULIA’s Abaqus software to conduct non-linear finite element analysis on the boat and wing-sail as well as conducting the overall design in SolidWorks. As you can see it has two wings (or sails!) in an “L” configuration. The wing-sails are made of a composite construction, much like an ultra-modern aircraft wing. This material choice makes the wings very light and strong, but complex.

I’ll be following Tim and Verney throughout their quest to break the world record and you can too:

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Good Luck Verney!

Cheers, Tom

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