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.
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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.
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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.
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The 2014 LA Auto Show Design Challenge competition tasked automotive design centers around the globe to develop high-tech futuristic vehicles which would explore how humans and vehicles might interact in the year 2029. Infiniti came up with the Infiniti SYNAPTIQ concept.
The Infiniti SYNAPTIQ is a modular racing vehicle which is designed to compete on the track, off-road and in the air. The cockpit section of the vehicle remains the same, but the rest of the vehicle is swapped out for different racing environments.
The SYNAPTIC concept is designed to compete in a fictional future racing series called the A.R.C. Race, which sees competitors racing on a road course from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, they then convert the vehicle to an off-roader and speed off to the Grand Canyon. From there the vehicle is rebuilt yet again, this time as a high-performance aerobatic aircraft for the final leg of the race back to Los Angeles.
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The American Helicopter XH-26 Jet Jeep was an extremely compact single-occupant helicopter developed by the American Helicopter division of the Fairchild Engine and Airplane Corp. It was designed to fulfill a U.S. Air Force brief which called for a collapsible, air-droppable, easily assembled helicopter which could be used for observation, liaison and reconnaissance missions.
The aircraft was requested by the military in 1951, and by 1952 the first test flights had been successfully accomplished.
The XH-26 Jet Jeep was constructed primarily from aluminium, although the tail section was formed from fiberglass. The interior was extremely basic and small, with just enough room for the single pilot. The bubble-shaped side windows provided a little extra elbow room, and could also be removed if required. There was no ballistic protection for the pilot, and no armaments were provided either.
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All dedicated motorcyclists have one thing in common. Sooner or later they’ll crash. Sometimes the rider gets lucky and walks away. Other times they aren’t so lucky. The main reason for injuries and deaths is the inherent lack of safety equipment on a motorcycle. Many modern bikes have ABS brakes, and some even have airbags. But most of the time it’s just luck, or the lack of it, which dictates whether a motorcycle crash ends up being a story which can be told to friends down at the bar for years to come, or whether it’s a life-changing, or ending, event.
In an effort to try and cut down on motorcyclist injuries and fatalities, Hungarian designer and metal worker Laszlo Pere has launched a crowd-funded project on IndieGoGo to try and build a prototype of a safety motorcycle called the S’PereBike.
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Motoped are a small company based in Kansas City, Missouri. They specialize in building super lightweight mopeds which look awesome. They make four different models, including the Cruzer, Pro, Survival and the sinister Black Ops Edition. The other three are all superbly styled, managing to make the lowly moped into a thing of desire. But the Motoped Black Ops Edition really is something else.
Conceived most likely as a marketing stunt (they are primarily advertising it as a zombie fighting machine), the Black Ops Edition is nevertheless for sale on Motoped’s website – although you have to ask for a price first.
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If you live in an area which experiences bitter winters and plenty of snowfall, a snowmobile is not only a recreational toy, it’s also a practical means of getting from A to B during the colder seasons. But for the rest of the year, it’s just a lump of next-to-useless machinery. Besides, ATVs are much better in the summer months.
The KTM X2 HYBRID concept is an ingenious design with manages to offer the off-road capabilities of an ATV, with the on-snow abilities of a snowmobile. It does this through a modular construction technique where the front wheels can be replaced with skis, and the rear wheels swapped out for a rubber track. When summer rolls back round again, you simply pop the wheels back on.
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Frenchman Francois Gissy has
broken smashed his own record for the world’s fastest rocket-powered bicycle. Last week, at the Paul Ricard Circuit in the South of France, he achieved an incredible 207 mph – 30 mph better than his previous best.
Three hydrogen peroxide fueled rocket motors provide 4.5 kN of thrust, which is roughly equivalent to 560 horsepower! To put the speed of this thing into perspective, the top speed of 207 mph (333 km/h) was achieved in just 4.8 seconds, and Gissy was subjected to nearly 2 Gs. Which is nothing for a fighter pilot. But this guy is technically a cyclist.
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Back in 1945, the US military, as well as the rest of the allied forces, were looking to deal the killer blow to the Nazi war machine. Things were already going pretty well for the allies by this point, with them scoring a series of rapid victories over German forces. It was during this time that US Army engineers were looking at blueprints for a massive tank. Or a the T28 Super Heavy Tank as it became known.
The T28 Super Heavy Tank wasn’t actually technically a tank at all, as it didn’t have a swivelling turret. It was in fact a gun motor carriage, and its other working title was the T95 self-propelled gun. But either way, the T28 Super Heavy Tank name was the one that stuck, and became its official designation.
The idea behind the T28 was to create a huge, virtually impenetrable tank which could be used to smash a hole though the heavily fortified Seigfried Line defending Germany’s western border. It was also considered for use in the never-realised invasion of the Japanese mainland.
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