The mysteriously named Object 279 was a prototype heavy tank developed by the Soviet Union in the late 1950s. The tank was originally conceived as a heavy breakthrough tank designed to spearhead a mechanized charge. It had improved off-road and all-terrain capabilities in comparison to a regular tank, mainly due to its unique 4-track drive system.
Object 279 was also surprisingly quick despite its 60-ton weight. This was due to the fact it was powered by a powerful 1,000 horsepower 2DG-8m diesel engine, allowing it to hit a top speed of 35 mph (55 km/h). On a full tank of fuel it could cover up to 180 miles (300 km).
Continue reading ‘Object 279 Soviet Heavy Tank’ »
Screw-propelled vehicles are not new. They are rare and unusual. But they’re not new. The Russians are particularly fond of them, partly due to the inhospitable terrain which covers much of the country’s frozen expanse. Screw-propelled vehicles have even been used by the Soviet space ministry for picking up returning cosmonauts who had landed in areas difficult to access by road.
However, despite their ability to keep moving over ground where a tracked-vehicle might find it difficult, and a wheeled-vehicle wouldn’t stand a chance, screw-propelled vehicles do have some major drawbacks. Firstly they’re quite slow. But secondly, and more seriously, they pretty much tear up the land as they pass over it. And they’re next to useless on a hard surface like a road.
Continue reading ‘TESH-drive transformable screw-propelled vehicle’ »
The Project Habbakuk aircraft carrier was one of the most unusual, and bizarre military projects ever conceived.
During the height of the second world war, Great Britain was slowly being choked of supplies by the relentless attacks of German U-Boats on Atlantic convoys bringing much-needed supplies to the island. Aircraft could provide some cover for the ships at either end of the journey, but due to their limited range, in the middle of the atlantic ocean, all they had for protection were a limited number of naval escort vessels.
Geoffrey Pyke was a mentally unstable Cambridge undergraduate who also happened to be a genius. He had strange mannerisms, and even stranger ideas on how the war could be won. From his hospital bed in a psychiatric ward he came up with the idea of a gigantic aircraft carrier made from ice which could provide air cover for the vulnerable convoys in the middle of the north Atlantic.
Continue reading ‘Project Habbakuk – The unsinkable aircraft carrier built from ice’ »
The Russian tractor manufacturer ZIL has unveiled a prototype version of a lightly armored personnel carrier which is said to have been commissioned by the Russian army, and could enter service in the next couple of years.
The strangely proportioned, and as-yet unnamed ZIL army vehicle is based on a Humvee chassis. But the cabin is like something out of a straight-to-DVD, low-budget sci-fi flick. The v-shaped bottom of the vehicle is similar in design to many modern military vehicles, and is designed to deflect the blast of a concealed mine. Although judging by the thickness of the doors, there isn’t a whole lot of armor plating. Those big windows and skinny pillars also don’t look up to the job of protecting the occupants from incoming fire – or saving them in the event of a roll-over either.
Continue reading ‘Russian-built, Humvee-based ZIL army personnel carrier’ »
Have you ever wondered what the size difference between the Mir space station and the International Space Station was? Or perhaps how the current Soyuz-FG rocket stacks up against the mighty Saturn V? Well thanks to reddit user Heaney555, and a rather simple but effective size chart you need wonder no more.
Continue reading ‘Space Vehicle Size Comparison Chart’ »
The Arsenal-Delanne 10-C2 was an unusual prototype aircraft developed by the French aeronautical designer Maurice Delanne. Delanne had some innovative ideas regarding aircraft design back in the 1920s and 1930s. He wanted to develop lighter, better performing aircraft, and also aircraft which were more stable, easier to fly and more affordable.
His work revolved around tandem wing aircraft. Tandem wing aircraft use a pair of wings, like a biplane, but instead of one wing above the other, the wings are positioned away from each other, one towards the front of the aircraft and one towards the rear.
In 1932 he began testing his tandem wing Arsenal-Delanne 10-C2 design in the wind tunnel. He found it had good flight characteristics, including a low stall speed and a well-balanced aircraft with a wide center of gravity range.
Continue reading ‘Strange Aircraft: Arsenal-Delanne 10-C2’ »
Black friday brings out the very worst in people. It turns normally sensible people in to greedy, violent, abusive consumers who will trample over their fellow human just to get 50 percent off on a new toaster. It’s disgraceful. But at the end of the day, if you’re intent on picking up some bargains, then there are two options. Get in and get out quickly. Or smash your way through the hordes and come out victorious.
Here are ten vehicles to help you win at Black Friday.
Continue reading ‘Top 10 Vehicles to beat the Black Friday sales rush’ »
There are shed projects, and then there are shed projects. This is the latter. The superbly named Archduke Grand Excelsior is a homemade semi-submersible built by Cal Giordano from Alaska. The 32-foot vessel is built using a discarded 500-gallon propane tank, a recycled industrial buoy, some scrap metal, old trailer wheels, and a Johnson outboard motor. It weighs in at a hefty 3,000 lbs (1,360 kgs), and has a top speed of 10 knots.
The Archduke Grand Excelsior is a semi-submersible, meaning that it’s not capable of going fully under the water, but it can take its single occupant up to 8-foot below the surface, while the rear portion of the craft remains above the water. The vessel dives by adjusting the front bow planes downwards while moving forwards. This forces the cockpit underwater, however it can only stay underwater while moving. If the speed drops below 3 knots then it rises back to the surface.
Continue reading ‘Archduke Grand Excelsior $2,500 homemade semi-submersible’ »
To celebrate the launch of the latest iteration of Far Cry (Far Cry 4), the game’s creator, Ubisoft, commissioned madman/inventor Colin Furze to build a real-life version of the tuk tuk used by the hero of the game, Ajay Ghale, as he takes on the might of the Royal Army of Pagan Min in Kyrat, a wild region of the Himalayas.
The TUK600 built by Furze is no ordinary tuk tuck. It may have started out that way, but the addition of a 100 horsepower Suzuki CBR 600 motorcycle engine has made what was once a humble, low powered taxi, into a tire-smoking, wheelie-popping trike.
Continue reading ‘Weaponized Tuk Tuk from Far Cry 4 made real’ »
ABS Hovercraft are a British manufacturing firm specializing in large hovercraft construction. Their current model is the M-10, and it comes in a variety of configurations, military, commercial and cargo versions to name but a few. But back in the late ’90s the firm were involved in a project along with a team of German engineers, headed by Albert Blum, to build an experimental 6-seater hovercraft called DONAR.
The DONAR hovercraft was built using lightweight composites and had a sleek, fully enclosed cabin. The vehicle was used to experiment with a range of technologies and innovations the company could introduce into its production models. But at the same time the company kept the possibility of a production model in mind.
The DONAR prototype featured a number of eye-catching features. Firstly, although it might look a little dated now, in the 1990s its spaceship like appearance made it look like something out of a sci-fi movie. It had gull-wing doors too, and the 6-seat interior featured air-conditioning, a GPS system and a sportscar like layout for the driver and front seat passenger.
Continue reading ‘DONAR Hovercraft Prototype’ »