Sunday, January 16, 2022
Saturday, January 15, 2022
When Boeing introduced the 247 in 1933 as a larger 14 passenger airlines, a preliminary design review by airline pilots did not go well, the pilots thought there weren't enough airports with long enough runways, that the engines made too much power and unanimously recommended it be reduced in size. It was reluctantly redesigned as a smaller craft with a capacity of 10 passengers. The aircraft shown is an early model with the forward sloped windshield, designed to eliminate the glare from the instruments. However, it instead reflected the glare from outside lights making landing and taxiing at night difficult.
It was an advanced airplane, faster than the top of the one US fighter planes but when the 21 passenger Douglas DC3 appeared two years later, the 247 was obsolete. With this many passengers, the flight could be profitable on passenger fares alone, no need to carry additional freight, mail, etc. Only 75 247s were built.
Friday, January 14, 2022
Thursday, January 13, 2022
Not the most attractive of the RM125s, this was the last year for the aircooled engine and the last year before the addition of the Full Floater suspension. Suzuki had won every 125 Motocross World Championship up till that point (4 of them), the 125 class had only started in 1975. Suzuki continued its winning streak for another 5 years, losing to Cagiva in 1985.
Wednesday, January 12, 2022
Although hub steering was not a new idea (the Ner A Car was a couple of years earlier) when George Wallis set to designing a better front end for motorcycles, he made a number of improvements and patented his system.
In 1925, funded by a well-to-do neighbour, he built several prototypes and racers to prove the design and publicize his development. Above is the first, with a rudimentary fuel tank and a horizontal Blackburne engine. The front end pivoted from the lower front of the dual tube frame that curved up to the steering head and also continued on to the rear axle. A rod connected the handlebars to the steering pivot which was suspended by leaf springs. Apparently the frame and front end consisted of about 350 separate pieces brazed and bolted together, simplification would be needed for production. I suspect some of the stability of the motorcycle was due to the rigidity of the frame.
Below is one of the racers and below that, the machine is stable at speed at Brooklands even with a soft rear tire!
At bottom is a machine nearing production trim. Unfortunately, Wallis's investor got cold feet, and the company folded in 1927.
|Classic MotorCycle Mar. 1990|
And here's a message from our sponsor; Buy Esso products...
Tuesday, January 11, 2022
Monday, January 10, 2022
It appears David Stanger of Stanger V twin fame had an active mind and applied himself to many facets of vehicle design, this post covers one that seems a bit too "me too".
To me, the most important and missing drawing is the top view folded...
Sunday, January 9, 2022
Saturday, January 8, 2022
Friday, January 7, 2022
1983, The AMA has reduced their Superbike class to 750cc, so the US got a full size Katana. Other changes included a black engine, blue paint and stripes on the fairing and tank, aluminum footpegs and new style mags... There was also softer suspension and a 150 mph speedometer.
Thursday, January 6, 2022
The Stanger was built in London in 1921-23. It was powered by their own 538cc two stroke 45 degree V twin engine with a 3 speed transmission. The chassis featured a leaf spring suspension on the rear and girder front.
David Stanger built various gas engines over the years for different uses. According to Sheldons Emu this one was originally intended only to be supplied to motorcycle manufacturers, but in 1921 he decided to build his own complete motorcycle. Apparently it was not particularly successful and was soon out of production.
Road test here.
Engine patent here.
Mercedes rigged up this airbrake for one of their cars in the 1952 Lemans, Pictured here in practice, it was considered to be experimental and was not used in the race. However, it was extremely effective, apparently cutting braking to a third of the distance at the end of the Mulsanne straight. The pylons supporting the wing were not strong enough and were damaged in use. Mercedes continued to develop the idea and they reappeared in modified form at LeMans 3 years later.
Wednesday, January 5, 2022
I thought this was an interesting find. The wrench is huge- 2 1/2", made by Jonnesway, a Taiwanese brand I had never heard of, and there are initials scratched and punched in it all over the place. I'd like to know the story, I assume a joke retirement gift or something similar?