Monday, February 11, 2008

Worldz fastest Train-- TGV !!!

The TGV in Paris, France is claimed to be the "world's fastest" train, reaching a speed of 357.2MPH (April, 2007). To accomplish this, a modified TGV train rode the track under test conditions -- voltage boosted to 31,000-volts, along with tamping an extra ballast onto the right-of-way. Continue reading for a video.

Saturday, February 9, 2008


The Aérospatiale-BAC Concorde supersonic transport (SST) was the more successful of the only two supersonic passenger airliners to have ever operated commercially (the Tupolev Tu-144 being the other).

The development programme was a product of an Anglo-French government treaty, with 20 aircraft built. The costly development phase thus represented a substantial economic loss. Air France and British Airways were subsidised to buy the aircraft by their governments, while other sales were blocked by the 1973 oil crisis and competition from the Boeing 747. However, overall, Concorde made very large operating profits for British Airways.

First flown in 1969, piloted by Andre Turcat, Concorde service commenced in 1976 and continued for 27 years. It flew regular transatlantic flights from London Heathrow (British Airways) and Paris Charles de Gaulle (Air France) to New York JFK and Washington Dulles, flying these routes at record speeds, in under half the time of other airliners. Concorde also set many other records, including the official FAI "Westbound Around The World" and "Eastbound Around the World" world air speed records.

As a result of the type's only crash on 25 July 2000, world economic effects arising from the 9/11 attacks, and other factors, operations ceased on 24 October 2003. The last "retirement" flight occurred on 26 November that year.

Concorde remains an icon of aviation history, and has acquired an unusual nomenclature for an aircraft. In common usage in the United Kingdom, the type is known as "Concorde" rather than "the Concorde" or "a Concorde".


Concorde's famous drooping nose was a compromise between the need for a streamlined design to reduce drag and increase aerodynamic efficiency in flight and the need for the pilot to see properly during taxi, takeoff, and landing operations. A delta-wing aircraft takes off and lands with a high angle of attack (a high nose angle) compared to subsonic aircraft, due to the way the delta wing generates lift. The pointed nose would obstruct the pilots' view of taxiways and runways, so Concorde's nose was designed to allow for different positioning for different operations. The droop nose was accompanied by a moving visor that was retracted into the nose prior to the nose being lowered. When the nose was raised back to horizontal, the visor was raised ahead of the front cockpit windscreen for aerodynamic streamlining in flight.

A controller in the cockpit allowed the visor to be retracted and the nose to be lowered to 5° below the standard horizontal position for taxiing and takeoff. Following takeoff and after clearing the airport, the nose and visor were raised. Shortly before landing, the visor was again retracted and the nose lowered to 12.5° below horizontal for maximum visibility. Upon landing, the nose was quickly raised to the five-degree position to avoid the possibility of damage. On rare occasions, the aircraft could take off with the nose fully down.

A final possible position had the visor retracted into the nose but the nose in the standard horizontal position. This setup was used for cleaning the windscreen and for short subsonic flights.

The two prototype Concordes had two fixed "glass holes" on their retractable visors.

source: wikipedia

Planes that fascinated me!!

The Lockheed SR-71 is an advanced, long-range, Mach 3 strategic reconnaissance aircraft developed from the Lockheed YF-12A and A-12 aircraft by the Lockheed Skunk Works. The SR-71 was unofficially named the Blackbird, and called the Habu by its crews. Clarence "Kelly" Johnson was responsible for many of the design's advanced concepts, with the SR-71 being one of the first aircraft shaped to reduce its radar cross section, although its radar signature could be tracked by contemporary systems unlike later "stealth" aircraft. A defensive feature of the aircraft was its high speed and operating altitude, whereby if a surface-to-air missile launch were detected, standard evasive action was simply to accelerate. The SR-71 line was in service from 1964 to 1998, with 12 of the 32 aircraft being destroyed in accidents, though none were lost to enemy action.

source: wikipedia

History of SUV


The first Sport utility vehicles were descendants from commercial and military vehicles such as the Jeep and Land Rover. SUVs have been popular for many years with rural buyers due to their off-road capabilities.

The earliest examples of wagon-type SUVs were the Willys Jeep Wagon (1948), Land Rover Series II 109 (1958), and the International Harvester Scout 80/800 (1961). These were followed by the more 'modern' Jeep Wagoneer (1963), Ford Bronco (1966), Toyota Land Cruiser FJ-55 (1968), the Chevrolet Blazer / GMC Jimmy (1969), and the Land Rover Range Rover (1970).

In the last 25 years, and even more in the last decade, the popularity of SUVs has increased among urban drivers. Consequently, more modern SUVs often come with luxury features and some crossover SUVs have adopted lower ride heights and utilize unibody construction to better accommodate on-road driving.


SUVs became popular in the United States, Canada, and Australia in the 1990s and early 2000s for a variety of reasons. Vehicle buyers were drawn to their large cabins, higher ride height, and perceived safety. Additionally, some full-size SUVs have far greater towing capacities than conventional cars, allowing owners to tow travel trailers (caravans), trailers, and boats with relative ease. This coincided with very low oil prices of the 1990s which made the running costs of SUVs affordable to the masses.

Some of the SUV's popularity can be attributed to it "utilitarian" image, which could explain the large growth in SUV popularity and among some women. Women constitute more than half of SUV drivers, and SUVs are one of the most popular vehicle choice of women in the United States.

In Australia, a unique situation resulted in the growth in popularity of SUVs. There, SUVs have a much lower import duty than cars. This means a typical SUV has a price advantage over a similarly-equipped, imported sedan. However, in recent years, the import duty has been lowered for cars as well, and is currently at 10% (compared with 5% for SUVs).

Current model SUVs (crossovers) take into account that most SUV owners never go offroad. As such, some SUVs now have lower ground clearance and suspension designed primarily for paved road usage. However with the advent and popularization of air suspension, many SUVs have the benefits of a low suspension while on road with the ability to raise it to go offroad where a car or other vehicle might not be able to. In addition increased ground clearance is useful in climates with heavy snow.

In addition, full-sized SUVs have replaced old-fashioned full-size station wagons and bear similar features such as 3-row seating.

source: wikipedia

""What is a SUV ??""

SUV is the widely used and known acronym for Sport Utility Vehicle. At first conception, an SUV was a vehicle that combined the towing capacity of a full-size truck with the passenger and storage capacity of a minivan. However, as consumer demands have changed, so has the SUV. Many manufacturers now focus on fuel-efficiency and driving and riding comfort, rather than towing capacity.

Typical features of an SUV include seating for five to seven, high seating and road positioning, roomy interior, non-dedicated trunk space, high engine capacity and 4 wheel drive capability. Though the SUV was originally designed to be an off-road vehicle for sporting purposes, their popularity has spawned several different breeds, including the luxury SUV.

Like cars, the SUV has different classes and sizes. The mid-sized SUV, which typically seats five, is the best-selling variety in the United States. During the SUV’s height of popularity, the Ford Explorer remained the top-selling model. The compact and full-size SUV appeals to many consumers equally, but for different reasons. The luxury SUV has the same features as standard class models, but contains upgraded interiors and trim packages typically associated with luxury model vehicles, such as leather interior.

Though many modern day motorists value the SUV for its size and roominess, many others criticize their lack of fuel-efficiency and their contribution to air pollution. Consumers who value the SUV do so not only for its size, but the perceived safety of driving such a bulky vehicle. Though crash test safety ratings vary with makes and models, some SUVs are known to pose the risk of rollover.

Some of the more popular makes and models of SUVs include the Cadillac Escalade, Chevy Blazer, Dodge Durango, Ford Explorer, Honda CRV, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Hummer and Land Rover, and the Nissan Pathfinder. For those who enjoy the flexibility of combining weekday comfort with weekend fun, the SUV has proven to be a leading choice in vehicles. Similarly, having 4 wheel drive capability and towing capacity without the passenger restrictions of a truck appeals to many car buyers and keeps the SUV a leading seller.

As a concern for the environment and the demand for fuel-efficient vehicles increases, manufacturers worldwide are continuing to explore ways to make improvements to the SUV family to keep them a leading selling vehicle.

source: wisegeek