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Amateur Engineer Builds Flying Car

It flies, but it won't go very far. Also, a record-breaking roller coaster, and a team builds a better tape measure.

Record-Breaking Roller Coaster

The Yukon Striker, once completed, will be the world's fastest, longest and tallest dive coaster. 

The 3,625 foot long coaster is now being built at Canada's Wonderland in Toronto and should be completed in 2019.

When it's completed, it will be 245 feet tall and reach up to 80 mph over the course of a 3 minute and 25 second ride. 

The virtual ride alone is enough to get you sick.

The record-breaking, which  Yukon Striker was designed by Bolliger & Mabillard, a roller coaster design consultancy based out of Switzerland.

Between this and the new Batman ride coming to California, we can start mapping out our family excursions appropriately.

Team Reinvents the Tape Measure

A team of students from the Queensland University of Technology have reinvented the tape measure. They call it the Macaron, and it could benefit many of the 285 million visually impaired people around the world.

The smart tape intuitively measures and records the data, and provides audio feedback. For their efforts, the Australian team has won a regional 2018 James Dyson Award, along with $2,500. They now have a chance to win nearly $40,000 at the international level.

The design was inspired by a team member who is not only blind, but frustrated because he can't renovate his home — one of his biggest challenges was seeing the markings on a tape measure. The Macaron takes the measurement and relays it to your mobile device via Bluetooth.

The hope is that the smart tape measure not only makes it easier for home repairs, but opens up new opportunities for the blind and visually impaired, especially in industries that they were typically shut out of, such as tailoring and woodworking. 

Next, the team plans to commercialize the product, which could prove to be more lucrative than any award. Although, I'm sure the team wouldn't be too upset to pocket the $40K if they take home the international James Dyson Award.

Amateur Engineer Builds Flying Car

An amateur engineer has spent eight years working on a flying car and this month, he finally flew it.

Kyxz Mendiola conducted the first successful test flight of an ultralight aircraft that he calls the Koncepto Millenya. In the footage of the flight, Mendiola flies about 25 feet and, more importantly, safely lands.
The single-seater prototype is essentially a larger scale octocopter drone. It's battery-powered, and it takes 2.5 hours to charge, but it only has the power to fly for at most 15 minutes.
In early versions of the craft, Mendiola was working on a hoverboard version that was remote controlled. The new prototype is a little bit safer than balancing above eight propellers.
Next, Mendiola wants to move to manufacturing and mass produce a two-seater version of the aircraft. However, he may need to make a few improvements along the way as the max payload is only ~175 pounds and the top speed is ~35 mph.

What's most impressive is that Mendiola is self-taught, teaching himself both engineering and aircraft design.

Based in the Philippines, the amateur engineer predicts that flying cars like the Koncepto Millenya will be the main form of transportation in five years. For that to happen, the cars might need a little more range than about nine miles.

This is Engineering By Design. 

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