Archive for Automotive Design

Edwin Conan on Car Design News

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 19, 2009 by edwinconan

Yes! My portfolio made it into the “Featured Portfolios” Section on Car Design News website: here.

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Ekranoplan

Posted in Car of The Future Project, Car of The Future Project Research with tags , , , , on May 13, 2009 by edwinconan

Ground effect vehicle – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A ground effect vehicle (GEV) is one that attains level flight near the surface of the Earth, made possible by a cushion of high-pressure air created by the aerodynamic interaction between the wings and the surface known as ground effect. Also known as a wing-in-ground-effect (WIG) vehicle, flarecraft, sea skimmer, ekranoplan, or wing-in-surface-effect ship (WISE), a GEV can be seen as a transition between a hovercraft and an aircraft. The International Maritime Organization, (IMO), has classified the GEV as a ship.[1] A GEV differs from an aircraft in that it cannot operate without ground effect, so its operating height is limited relative to its wingspan.

In recent years a large number of different GEV types have evolved for both civilian and military use. However, these craft are not in wide use as yet.

An ekranoplan (Russian: экранопла́н, French: ecran screen + plan plane ) is a vehicle resembling an aircraft but which operates solely on the principle of ground effect (in Russian эффект экрана effekt ekrana – from which the name derived). Ground effect vehicles fly above any flat surface, with the height above ground dependent upon the size of the vehicle. Ekranoplan design was conceived by revolutionary Soviet engineer Rostislav Alexeev.Advantages and Disadvantages

A ground effect craft may have better fuel efficiency than an equivalent aircraft flying at low level due to the close proximity of the ground reducing lift-induced drag. There are also safety benefits in flying close to the water as an engine failure will not result in severe ditching. However, this particular configuration is difficult to fly even with computer assistance. Flying at very low altitudes, just above the sea, may be dangerous if the craft banks too far to one side while making a small radius turn.

A take-off must be into the wind, which in the case of a water launch, means into the waves. This creates drag and reduces lift. Two main solutions to this problem have been implemented. The first was used by the Russian Ekranoplan program which placed engines in front of the wings to provide more lift. The Caspian Sea Monster had eight such engines, some of which were not used once the craft was airborne. A second, more elegant approach, is to use some form of an air-cushion to raise the vehicle most of the way out of the water, making take-off easier. This is used by German Hanno Fischer in the Hoverwing (successor of the Airfisch ground effect craft), which uses some of the air from the engines to inflate a skirt under craft in the style of a sidewall hovercraft.

At the beginning, it was a Mercedes, now, it is still a Mercedes

Posted in Car of The Future Project, Car of The Future Project Research with tags , , , , , , , on May 12, 2009 by edwinconan

Mercedes F-CELL Roadster on the historic route of Bertha Benz – Worldcarfans

Mercedes F-CELL Roadster on the historic route of Bertha Benz

Bertha Benz, wife of automobile inventor Karl Benz, was the first to
take a car on the road for a long distance. With her two kids in tow. Wanting to prove to Karl that his invention was worthwhile, she drove
over a hundred kilometers in the Benz Motorwagen back in 1888, leaving
Mannheim, Germany, early in the morning, and reaching her mother’s
house in Pforzheim that evening.

Mercedes-Benz drove their F-Cell Roadster along that very same route

Fashion on Wheels

Posted in Car of The Future Project, Car of The Future Project Research with tags , , , , , , , on May 12, 2009 by edwinconan

F for Fashion, Fashion on Wheels « Edwin Conan

Ka-twalk Dress From Streetka Parts

Many people choose cars base on the shape of the cars. In other words, they buy the car because it looks good. Just like people buy the clothes because they are beautiful. Fashion designers design dresses, hats, trousers, t-shirts, skirts, coats for the body. The design of car bodywork and interior can be regarded as another kind of fashion design and the designer are thought to be the fashion designer of cars. The cars are dressed up by them. Car design has its own fashion, I call it the fashion on wheels.

RMIT Hydrogen Racing Car

Posted in Car of The Future Project, Car of The Future Project Research with tags , , , , , , on May 12, 2009 by edwinconan

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More than 3 weeks ago, I went to RMIT Bundoora East Campus to see the RMIT hydrogen car, Australia’s first hydrogen racing car. It is the result of collaboration of RMIT’s School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering and Germany’s Fachhochschule Ingolstadt University of Applied Sciences. Professor Aleksandar Subic (head of RMIT School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering) describes it as a demonstration vehicle for the future – a car that is powerful, fast and runs on clean, sustainable fuel. The car uses an internal combustion motorcycle engine modified to run on hydrogen, and the hydrogen comes from in compressed form in a lightweight carbon fiber gas tank on one side of the car. The tank contains the amount of hydrogen that is equivalent to 4 to 5 kg petrol, which is not a lot comparing the size of the tank and the amout of fuel on board. They found it a bit hard to handle the hydrogen, you can either store it under dangerously high pressure or at nearly-impossible-to-reach low temperature. They choose the high pressure because it is the only system their German collaborator can afford and lay their hand on. The chassis is constructed in aluminium tube frames and covered with carbon fiber body panels. In theory, the car can reach 170kmh, making it the fastest hydrogen car of its class in the world.

During the chat with lecturer Geoff Pearson from Automotive Engineering department in RMIT racing team workshop, i found out that in theory, any internal combustion engine can be modified to run on hydrogen, and ideally, it will be more powerful than the same petrol version engine. To burn hydrogen directly in an internal combustion engine is the simplest, easiest way and most light weight system compare to fuel cell or hybrid. And weight is everything, efficincy, economy, performance. The other thing I learned was that from an engineeror point of view, petrol power is still the best all rounder, the only downside is it will run out and it is not clean. When environmentalists and green hippies comes in, they brought alone a whole series of problems and headaches. The only upside of all the alternative energy source is “clean”. Hydrogen is clean but not clean to produce and hard to handle; hybrid, fuel cell and electric systems are too complicated and heavy. Our city, our society and our lifestyle is built around car, we live knowing we can travel from A to B easily on daily base, and that “travel from A to B” will have an environmental effect no matter what form it is, even walking will produce CO2. It is an imperfect world, it all down to what we want and what we need to give up.

What Alfa Romeo is all about? It’s an Alfa.

Posted in Car of The Future Project, Car of The Future Project Research with tags , , , , on May 12, 2009 by edwinconan

Alfa Romeo is by far away my favourite car brand, whitout Alfa, there will be no Ferrari, no Lambourghini. If Enzo Ferrari did not become a racing driver for Alfa Romeo, he would not build Ferrari car as we know today, and Mr lambourghini would not by Ferrari cars and hated it and set off to turn his tractor factory into supercar factory. Alfa is where the italian passion and style in car design starts. Alfa is the genesis. The first Ad is for the Alfa Brera, the car that is widely considered as the most beautiful car on sale today, also the most beautiful car that normal people can afford, designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro. It is so gorgeous that even a blind person can feel the beauty, and although without any word discription in the Ad, the commercial tells a lot about Alfa. Alfa is more than a car, it is a feeling, when an Alfa drive by, people can feel it, the beauty, the passion the style and pedigree. People who buy an Alfa are those who understand cars, not as a tool to move them around, but as an art piece, they made the purchase dicision not because its practicality, but because its aesthetics, it is not a financial activity, but a love affair. Which brings me neatly to the second Ad, people buy an Alfa not for it’s lastest technology and safety featurers, but because it’s an Alfa.

Audi Intelligent Emotion Design Project

Posted in Car of The Future Project, Car of The Future Project Research with tags , , , , , , on April 23, 2009 by edwinconan

Student designers tapped for Audi ‘Intelligent Emotion’ project – [Audi Intelligent Emotion Design Project] – MotorAuthority – Car news, reviews, spy shots

One of the 11 concepts from the project

The future of automotive mobility is a question that has always captivated the mind of the carmaker and the driver alike. Today Audi takes its turn to give us a glimpse into what they think the future may hold, seen through the eyes of design students at the Munich University of Applied Sciences and their “Intelligent Emotion” project concepts.

The project’s goal was to envision the ways that alternative forms and fuels might be employed in the future, while balancing that with the long-standing needs of individual mobility. Audi isn’t just looking into the issue for purely philosophical reasons, however.

“The next generation of employees is our future,” says Wolfgang Egger, Head of Audi Group Design. “That’s why sponsoring design students is one of our high priorities. …The students have addressed the subject of mobility in the future with very well-conceived and lucidly presented approaches. Each concept, each model, contains at least one idea or feature that we could certainly conceive of as being included in a future production vehicle.”

It’s not all engineering and science, however, as the “Intelligent Emotion” moniker suggests – it is engineering tempered with passion. “Emotion as a driving force must go hand in hand with responsibility as regulator. The students’ assignment was to develop aesthetic approaches that reflect the new ecological, technical and social issues while also portraying an Audi as an attractive, sporty automobile. The results are of very high creative quality and provide plenty of substance for intensive discussions.”

A book with the concepts and the commentary of Audi’s chief designers has been made from the project, entitled “Audi Design Projekt” and available in stores from €29.90.