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The Ripsaw is a 'Rocketship on Tracks'

The makers call it 'the most obnoxious vehicle ever made.' Also, Boeing's son-of-Blackbird, and a sensor that dissolves in your body.

Boeing Reveals Son-of-Blackbird Concept

Last week, Boeing unveiled its concept that will compete to replace the SR-71 Blackbird. According to Aviation Week, via Popular Mechanics, the hypersonic aircraft would reach speeds above Mach 5 using a combined-cycle engine with elements of a turbine and a dual ramjet/scramjet.

The aircraft looks similar to Lockheed's SR-72, which was reportedly seen at the company's Skunk Works facilities back in September. Lockheed may be ahead of the curve, as it reportedly had a demonstrator aircraft while Boeing is still showing off models.

Boeing's "son-of-Blackbird" concept hasn't been approved for full-scale development, but according to Kevin Bowcutt, chief scientist for hypersonics, if/when it is approved, it will likely be a two-step development process. First with a single-engine proof-of-concept that is about half the size before testing a full-scale vehicle that will be about the same size as the current Blackbird.

Sensor Dissolves Inside of Your Body

Engineers at the University of Connecticut have created a biodegradable pressure sensor that could help doctors monitor conditions like brain swelling, heart disease, glaucoma, and bladder cancer before dissolving in your body.

The small sensor is flexible and is designed with materials that are already FDA approved for other medical procedures. The hope is that the sensor could soon replace current implantable pressure sensors that are made of potentially toxic components. Current sensors have to be removed, which not only means another procedure for the patient, but also an increased risk of infection.

The sensor was designed to give off a small electrical charge when pressure is applied. This feature could make it suitable for tissue regeneration. The prototype is made with a thin polymer film five millimeters long, five millimeters wide, and only 200 micrometers thick.

The researchers implanted the sensor into the abdomen of a mouse to monitor respiratory rate. It provided reliable readings for four days before breaking down into its organic components. They also tested the sensor’s safety by implanting it into a mouse’s back. The mouse suffered some inflammation, but it was back to normal after four weeks.

The engineers have filed for a patent, and the application is pending.

Ripsaw Chews Through Any Terrain

The Ripsaw from Howe & Howe is a tracked ATV that can chew through all terrains, from sand dunes to snow covered hills. 

According to the company, the Ripsaw EV3-F1 has a 1500 HP, 727 cubic inch hemi which makes it run "like a rocketship on tracks" with a floating, air suspended cockpit for a sole rider inside of a tubular exoskeleton. The company does have the F2 and F4 which seat two and four passengers.

It has 112 inches of military grade-track on the ground, and is made out of aerospace-grade steel, aluminum and composites. Howe & Howe designed it using high-performance OEM truck parts to help make maintenance and upkeep easier.

The F1 weighs 7,750 pounds, and it can reach up to 75 mph.

If it looks familiar, you may have seen variations of the vehicle on the big screen, in Mad Max, Fast and Furious 8, and GI Joe 2. So, if your action sequel or reboot needs some muscle, I guess that you know who to call.

Howe & Howe isn't exactly known for its subtlety, the company's Bulldog 4x4 Firetruck was named "World's Most Badass Fire Truck" by Maxim in 2015, and the company has also designed a number of tracked robots for the military as well as the Thermite Robotic Fire Fighting Solution. This company doesn't mess around.

This is Engineering By Design with David Mantey. 

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