The Dornier Do 31 was a West German experimental VTOL aircraft built in the late 1960s. To this day it is the only VTOL jet transport aircraft ever built. The aircraft was designed to meet a NATO requirement for a tactical support aircraft to work in conjunction with the EWR VJ 101 VTOL strike aircraft.
The origins of the Dornier Do 31 project began in the early 1960s when German air force top brass started to realise that their airfields were vulnerable to attack from Eastern Bloc forces and the Soviet Union. In an effort to counteract this weakness the Luftwaffe started looking at VTOL and STOVL options. The Dornier Do 31 was one of the results.
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Milan is over 100 miles from the nearest sea. Strange then that a submarine appears to have surfaced in the middle of the city. There can be only two explanations for this event. One. Milan has a massive sewer system which is capable of being navigated by subs. Or two. Somebody’s been getting creative at the ad agency.
Of course it’s two. Milan-based agency M&C SAATCHI have placed a fiberglass submarine codenamed #L1F3 onto the streets of the city and surrounded it by what looks like broken concrete and an unlucky SMART car. To add to the realism, there are firemen (actors) who look to be trying to extract the sub, and even a hapless crew sitting bemused in the conning tower!
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The landlocked Eastern European country of Belarus is home to Europe’s last dictatorship, having been ruled by the corrupt and incresingly authoritarian Alexander Lukashenko since 1994. But putting that grim little statistic aside, Belarus also now lays claim to being the manufacturer of the world’s largest dump truck. It isn’t official yet, the Guinness World Record is yet to be confirmed, but that’s just formalities. The current record holder can only carry 360 tons.
The BelAZ 75710 can carry 450 metric tons of whatever-you-want in its massive bucket. It’s primary mission will be to haul rocks and rubble away from large open mines. Powering the BelAZ 75710 dump truck are two 65-litre 16-cylinder turbocharged diesel engines. Together they produce 4,600 horsepower and 13,738 lb-ft of torque! Top speed is 40 mph.
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The Savoia-Marchetti S.55 was a strange-looking double-hulled flying boat manufactured in Italy during the 1920s. The aircraft, despite its unusual configuration, soon began accumulating world records for speed, payload, altitude and range.
The passengers and/or cargo were carried in the two hulls of the aircraft, while the pilot and co-pilot sat in a central cockpit. The aircraft was powered by two Isotta-Fraschini Asso 750V engines, each producing 880 hp. The engines were mounted inline and back-to-back. One had a tractor propeller, the other a pusher propeller. The whole assembly was mounted above the aircraft on pylons and it was tilted upwards to create extra lift.
The Savoia-Marchetti S.55 first flew in the summer of 1924. By 1926 it was in full production, and in that same year the S.55P prototype set 14 world records. However the S.55 became most famous for its repeated trans-Atlantic crossings.
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The 2014 Guiness World Record book has officially recognized the world’s smallest road-legal car as a dinky little ’57 BelAir belonging to Austin Coulson of Phoenix, Arizona.
The tiny car is fully licensed and registered in Texas, making it completley road legal. Not neccesarily safe though! It has a top speed of 25 mph, and carries the license plate “IM BIG”.
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The Convair NC-131H might look like one airplane violently eating another, but it is in fact a very useful one-of-a-kind aircraft which was used by the US Air Force as a “total in-flight simulator” – or TIFS for short. The Convair NC-131H was only retired in 2008, after decades of service.
The aircraft first flew in 1970. It was designed to allow pilots and engineers to study how different aircraft would fly – before moving on to building extremely costly prototypes. Originally a USAF C-131B transport aircraft, the NC-131H underwent extensive modifications. Its original piston engines were replaced by Allison 501-D22G turboprop engines with nearly twice the horsepower, but the most noticeable modifications were the second cockpit on the nose and the vertical fins on the wings.
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Despite its cartoonish proportions and unconventional layout, the Stipa-Caproni was a clever design which provided a crucial link between propeller-driven aircraft and jet-powered aircraft. The man behind the Stipa-Caproni prototype was an Italian engineer called Luigi Stipa. In 1932, after years of developing the aircraft in his head and on paper, he went to the Italian government in an attempt to persuede them to fund the building of an experimental aircraft which would validate his ideas. At the time the facist Italian government was keen to promote the latest technological achievements of the country, and they commissioned the Caproni aircraft company to build Stipa’s prototype.
The aircraft was called the Stipa-Caproni (or Caproni Stipa), and it was one of the more unusual aircraft designs of the time. It’s most recognisable feature was the hollow fuselage which had a propeller just inside the leading edge of the tube. However this was no ordinary tube. Stipa had spent much time calculating the best shape for the tunnel and the optimum propeller position and angle. It worked like a venturi tube, compressing the air flow from the propellor and engine exhaust before it exited the tunnel at the rear. Despite what it might look like, it actually made the engine more efficient.
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There’s papercraft projects, and then there’s this. A guy by the name of Taras Lesko, who also goes by the alias Visual Spicer, has just put the finishing touches to his latest creation. It’s a half-scale replica of a Lamborghini Aventador pursuit car, and it’s made entirely from paper. The fact it’s so flamable only makes it even more realistic.
Called the Aventador A-E2, the project cost him roughly $1,000. Money well spent according to Lesko who now has it proudly mounted on his wall. It measures 8 foot long, and weighs 25 lbs (11.3 kgs).
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There are many, many vehicle related jobs out there. Ranging from the normal ones – like mechanics and bus drivers – to the extraordinary ones – like racing drivers and fighter pilots. And then there are jobs which are truly breathtaking, either because they’re so mind-blowingly awsome, or so ridiculously dangerous. Usually a combination of the two.
Listed here are 5 jobs which are so extreme only a special kind of person would even think of showing up for their first day.
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The Gloster Meteor F8 “Prone Pilot” was a bizarre proof-of-concept aircraft designed to explore the benefits, and drawbacks, of having a pilot in the prone position. The project was overseen by the RAF Institute of Aviation Medicine. By the 1950s, aviation experts already knew that pilots in the prone position could handle higher g-forces than if they were sat upright. And with combat aircraft rapidly becoming faster and faster, and the pilots having to cope with the ever higher g-force effects, the military was keen to try and find a solution.
The Gloster Meteor F8 “Prone Pilot” started life as an ordinary Gloster Meteor. It was the very last Meteor to be produced (Serial No. WK935) and it was immediatley modified by the manufacturers Armstrong-Whitworth as an in-house project. The standard cockpit was retained, and had fully functioning controls. However, up front a longer nose section was added and an extra canopy installed for the prone pilot. The forward cockpit had an unusual control layout – necessitated by the horizontal position of the pilot. The control column was offset to the right and the rudder pedals were reconfigured to suit the unconventional layout.
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